Monday, November 19, 2012


You're sitting in class. Right when all noises have escaped the room, your stomach churns in hunger, letting out a yelp. You twist and turn, uncomfortable and craving a morsel of food- of anything- to satisfy you. A full hour is left of your class. You let out a sigh. 

A few minutes later, another growl escapes from beneath your cardigan. Eyes from around the room meet yours in embarrassment. Your face turns red as your entire class seems to turn around in your direction. You put your head down and try to cover up the noise, but it grows. To you, the noise is deafening. Louder than a train racing down the tracks. Obvious to everyone. 

You have no where to go. Minutes drag by as you squirm and dream of your craving being met. Time, not matter how fast it's going, is going much too slow. 

You slip your computer into your bag quickly in anticipation of your professor ending class for the afternoon early. Finally.. your professor dismisses you. Your hand reaches for your bag and you bolt out of the door, ready to get your hands on something to end the discomfort you've dealt with all morning. Your boots click-clack across the tile floor as you strut down the marble hallway. Your hand reaches for the cold metal on the door handle, knowing what is waiting on the other side.

As the door swings open, you have a choice. To your right, there is a food cart, stocked with yogurt, fruit, granola bars and sandwiches. You gaze at the options, wanting to devour all of the contents in a split second.

To your left, there is a trash can. On the cold, silver tin of the trash can, a picture is taped haphazardly to the lid, fluttering in the wind. The picture promises the contents of the can to be yummy, delicious and.. satisfying. You see flies surrounding it and fumes oozing out from all around it. You can smell the foul stench emanating from it from yards away. You frown in disgust. 

The choice seems natural. The cart that boasts of healthy, filling options is the obvious pick. But.. that trash can. There's just something about it. 

You think to yourself, "That picture says it will SATISFY! It doesn't seem like it would.. but maybe..." 

Without taking the lid off of the can and peaking inside, you will never know what you're missing.. Right? What if it does satisfy? What if you miss out on what is inside? How will you ever know unless you look for yourself? 

So.. you start walking towards the trashcan. You know it's a bad idea. Your heart thumps louder than a steel drum as your feet stride swiftly towards the foul object in front of you. After a few strides, you find yourself in arms length of what could satisfy you. Finally, your hands touch the cold, clammy handle on top of the lid. Your fingers latch on and lift it up. 

As you glance into the trashcan, your eyes are met with nothing but filth. Vile, disgusting, grotesque filth. But.. it promises satisfaction, right? Maybe you should dig through it to make sure you aren't missing anything. I mean, why not? 

Your hands plunder. As you dig deeper, you find yourself in the bottom of the trashcan, searching for anything, ANYTHING that may ease your ache. Still, nothing. Your ache grows. You reach for what you think will be delightful, but find it is destructive. Over and over, you reach. Your hands outstretched, finding nothing to hold on to.

After days, months, years of digging.. you finally crawl to the top. After crawling through filth, you feel like a cloud of dust is following you. Your hair is in knots and your fingernails are dirty. You are tired. HUNGRY. Worn down. Satisfaction was never found. The ache of hunger has overtaken you. You try and decide whether or not to stay in the mess, or try and get out. Then, it dawns on you. The other stand. It's there. Still there. 

You find your way out of the trash can. You're on your feet, running for your second choice. Dirt falls off of your clothes as you fight to get to the stand, scared it may leave at any second. You take the fruit and eat. Immediately, satisfaction. Wholeness. Fullness. Your filth is hosed off of you, leaving a muddy circle at your feet. No more digging through trash to meet your hunger. Satisfied. Delighted. Full. 

He is there. Always waiting for His children to find their way out of the muck. He is patient. Gently reminding. Tenderly guiding. Lovingly coaxing. The taste of His goodness is unmatchable. Unreal. All satisfying. Choose Him. Sit at the table and eat.

Psalm 17:5 As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.

Phil. 4:11-12 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

Isaiah 55:1 Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Snotty noses, PB&J & so much love.

The past few months have been different.

Last year, I spent my days consumed with schoolwork & working at the boutique. I ate, slept and breathed school and work. Work & school. School and work. It was fun, busy and exciting. I didn't hate it. It suited me.. kept me busy.

This year...... Big time, huge, different kind of busy. Yes, schoolwork consumed some of my time. But.. after quitting my job at the boutique, my work became a little different.

Instead of playing dressup in the walls of a boutique, dressing women for dates or big events, I started playing dressup with little nuggets in Rapunzel wigs and plastic high heels. Instead of closing the books at the end of the day, I start tucking in little divas "Snug as a bug in a rug." Lunch break consisted of apple slices and PB&J instead of ordering takeout from a local restaurant. Things changed. I loved it.

Babysitting almost every single day may sound tiring or boring to some.. but I LOVE it. I love having breakfast & then playing outside with three squealing girls and a flock of ducks. I love playing rockstars and making music videos entitled, "God rocks the house, DUDES!"I love saying goodnight prayers and reading books for hours. I love dance parties and karaoke. I adore playing Barbies & hearing about boys, fairytales and little girl sized dreams. It makes me smile.

While some college girls are waiting tables, I am cleaning up dried on macaroni off of one. Some girls may be laying on the beach all day, while I am laying in the grass with little ones jumping on my face. (It's okay. I promise!) Alot of girls are getting dressed up for formal, wearing flowing, beautiful dresses. I, on the other hand, am probably dressed up in a princess outfit, complete with a crown and blonde Repunzel wig. While the job of a babysitter isn't always glamorous, God has USED it. God has used this season of my life to teach me.. through girls under the age of 6. SIX! Don't worry.. I will explain.

My most favorite six year old is in BIG TIME love with her Jesus. When she prays, she leaves her eyes open. This lovey has shown me exactly what Jesus meant when He said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the LIFE." Sometimes, I peek to catch a glimpse of her conversation with her Jesus. It's almost as if she is looking her Savior straight in the eyes. She's focused. Eyes open. She prays to her Savior with conviction and beautiful, carefully chosen words. By the end of her prayers, she has me covered in chillbumps. She is crazy about God. She loves talking about Him, memorizing His Word. She always the very first to volunteer to bless the food, or pray for a prayer requests. She warms my heart.. but her love for Jesus leaves me in tears.

Another little divababy loves to LOVE. She is PURE joy. Spunk. Sass. When she hugs, she squeezes as hard as she can. The verse in the Bible in 1 John that talks about love, real, JUICY love, reminds me of her. "Dear friends.. LOVE one another, for LOVE comes from GOD." She's a lover. She will kiss your face until you have splotches all over it. She will try and eat your cheeks if you let her. I love it. I love talking to her about the people she loves. She can't get enough of LOVE.

Lastly, a two year old little nugget. She's KIND. Gentle. Tender-hearted. Lover of the Word of God.. ALREADY! Loves to tell you the fruits of the Spirit. Loves to jump in your arms and give you a big kiss on the lips. She is absolute gentleness, bottled into a little blonde baby. This one never, ever gets angry or agitated when something goes wrong. She just smiles. Alot.

Through the past few months, my Father has used these three (And TONS of other little divaloves that I ADORE, simply adore) to teach me simple, powerful truths.

1. LOVE one another. Love. Simply love. Don't hold back love. Never, ever hesitate to love. When you are filled up with love, spill it out everywhere. Drench everyone around you in it. Love so hard that it makes you sleepy.

2. Talk to Your Father. Talk to Him ALL. OF. THE. TIME. Tell Him everything. Run to Him before running to anyone else. Approach His throne humbly, but look right at Him and "By prayer and petition, present your requests to God."

3. Patience. P A T I E N C E. Sometimes, things don't and won't go the way you want them to. They just won't. When they do, rejoice. When they don't, rejoice. This fruit of the Spirit is not easy. It is not something that you can attain on your own. It is a fruit of the SPIRIT. When the Spirit becomes living and active inside of you, patience is natural.

4. A relationship with Jesus is a LOVE AFFAIR. Nothing less. Being a follower of Jesus means to be wrapped UP in Who HE is. Serious, juicy, deep love affair with Him is neccessary. Essential. Needed, always.

I may not have realized it until recently, but little girls are the best teachers. The absolute BEST. My little nuggets have taught me what undignified love, patience, kindness, forgiveness & hope looks like. Their faith has been an inspiration & absolute joy for me to witness. I love praying with them. I love talking about Jesus with them. They are wise little babies. I'm praising God that I have gotten to see them grow & shine like stars in the universe.

Faith like a child. I think I get it now.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Today, I am simply compelled to tell you how GOOD, FAITHFUL, and WONDERFUL my sweet Savior is. He is everlasting. He is sweet. His love is JUICY, tender, warm, filling. His heart is overflowing with His love for His children. He is fascinating. He is GREAT. He is.. enough. He's enough.

It is so easy for me to depend on someone too much. I sometimes find myself looking to others for complete affirmation. For approval. Sometimes I just need to be reminded that I am loved. Cared for. Enough. Looking to others is a big, fat dead-end street. Approval from others means NOTHING in light of God's approval and desire for me. HIS love for me outshines anyone elses'. His love is crazy huge, crazy big, crazy wonderful. Even when I stumble and fall, He doesn't let me stay down for long.

Praise GOD that He is always, always lifting me from the pits that I fall or climb down into. When I am rolling around in the nasty, stinky muck and mire, He grabs me up, wraps me in His arms, and whispers, "You are enough. You are worthy. You are mine." (Isaiah 43:1)

So, this is what my heart is pumping out in this moment. I am DESPERATELY smitten with Jesus. Desperately in love with my Maker. He is good. ALWAYS, always, always enough.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

7 weeks.

7 weeks- give or take. 7 weeks left in Florence. 7 weeks until I head to camp, to be a counselor to 12-13 different little daughters of Jesus, a group that will be changing each week, until August. To say that I'm totally loving these girls already is an understatement. I don't know any of their names, birthdays or hobbies.. but I already adore them. I'm already praying my guts out for them. I calculated the other day just how many girls would come in & out of my cabin by August. The number is big. 110, give or take. 110 PRECIOUS creations straight from the Lord. 110 loud, crazy, silly, sassy divababies that I get to do life with for a little bit. I. Am. ECSTATIC. Floored. Over-the-moon excited. 

When I tell people how I'm spending my summer, they giggle. Alot. I hear alot of, "I hope you know what you're getting yourself into", and "Girl, I'll be praying for you." Makes me MORE excited. God has given me a special soft spot in my heart for His daughters. He has CALLED me to be their confidant. Their leader. Their friend. Their secret-keeper. Their sister. It's that simple. He is calling, I am obeying. Happily.

This past Fall, I decided to teach a fifth grade GA (Girls In Action) class. 15-20 girls every single week. 15-20 LOUD, silly, crazy, lovable, squeezable love nuggets. I love each of them. They are sassy, spunky, and completely, utterly different from one another. No two are alike. They are each their own person. They have their own dreams, own laugh, own quirks. And I love them. They have taught me more than I could have ever taught them. They have taught me how to be tender, loving and caring. How to be observant of what's going on around me. To have a soft spot for the lost. To chase after them with the love of Jesus. I love those girls so much it hurts.

7 weeks. 7 little weeks to fill up and up and up until I can overflow into the lives of 13 sweet creations of the Creator. Ready. Expectant. FULL of love and gratitude for the opportunity my Father is laying in my hands. 

Right now, today, I am in a dance. Yesterday, a dear friend of mine was talking to her tender, juicy newborn and said "She'll catch on to this little dance we're doing. She'll eventually get it." Without her knowing, the Lord used that little sentence to grab my whole heart. He's been waiting to dance with me. He's been holding His hand out- patiently waiting until I was ready to reach out with both hands. He is SWEEPING me off of my feet. Romancing me. Loving me crazy much. He. Is. Good. He IS beauty. So.. here we go. 7 weeks.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Well.. hi there.

It's been months. Not just a few months, either. Months upon months have passed since I have been able to sit down and put into words what my life is as of now.

New blog. New blog-name. New everything. More simple. More me. I'll explain why in just a second, so hold on for a minute.

In the past few months, I have eliminated alot from my life. The number 1 thing being.. drumroll, please.. FACEBOOK! Yes. Facebook. A Social-Networking loving girl needed to condense- so Facebook, gone. And, months later, I can confidently say, I do not miss it. Not an ounce. Not even a little bit. I pinky promise. I breathe easier without it.

Now, newness. Why the newness, you ask? Well.. if you can hang tight for a second, I'd love to explain.

If you're new to this blog, I'll set a little basis for what I'm fixing to blabber to you about. I'm a girl who has heard the name of Jesus her entire life. His name was whispered by my mother in prayers while I was still in the womb, and then whispered by me as soon as I was old enough to talk. As a child, you could find me at every VBS, choir practice, camp, retreat and event that my church had to offer. The name of Jesus has always been apart of who I am. A part of who I wanted to be. As years of camps, practices & lock-ins passed, and I began to see Jesus in a new light. This Savior.. He saved ME. Little ole Lauren. My thoughts? "Oh, cool." Thought I had the Jesus-thing down. Didn't. Sure didn't.

Highschool was full of mission trips, Bible studies, more retreats and lots of the Word of God. I got poured into by BEAUTIFUL, lovely, amazing men and women of God. Continuously being filled. Cup running over. My thoughts? "Jesus is wonderful. Beautiful. Majestic. But I think I'll hang on to some of the stuff I like. Yep. Not letting go of everything. I mean.. he'll forgive me for it, right?"

Then.. college. Here I go. Big mess of a girl with her bookbag on walking into a big, scary, new campus. No dear friends to have lunch with. No one in my classes to laugh with. No clue what I want to do with my life. No clue what God wants for me. No desire to seek it out. Achy. Lonely. Anxious. On the edge. Tired. Not me.

Here's the thing. At a very young age, PRAISE GOD, I found salvation. Salvation found me. I pulled my heart out of my chest and placed it ever so gently in my Savior's hand. Did I leave it there? Not completely. I'd take it out, mess things up, then sit it back in His hand. (By the way... NOT a good idea. Not safe. Not okay. I don't advise it.) I thought I had it all together. I thought, "I'm a mess.. but God takes me as I am. He'll forgive me." Little did I know.. God was DYING to just transform this mess of a girl. To take my heart and LOCK His fingers around it for good. He wanted control. But I did too.

Flash forward to this Fall. Sometimes, things happen that force you to look up to Jesus. Crawl into His lap. Ask Him to soothe you. Catch your tears. LOVE on you. One thing lead to another and, quickly, I was in that place. DESPERATE for a glimpse of Jesus. Desperate for His control over my life. So, I surrendered. Wallowing in a pillow full of tears one night, I sat up, and took my hands off of my heart, let God's fingers encase my heart fully, letting His hand cover it. I let it go. Pulled my hand away. Completely. Finally. Then, I grabbed His free hand with one of my free hands. And then, just like that, He took off running. And so did I. New creation. New life. New freedom. New love for my Master.

Hoping that you'll pop back in to this old blog and listen to me babble about the pure crazy WONDER that is my Savior. New chapter. New BOOK. New story. Let's go.

Psalm 30:11-12 You DID it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I'm about to burst with song; I can't keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can't thank you enough.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Doors. Sometimes, God shuts doors.. But sometimes, He slams them.

Where have I spent the past month of my life? On the other side of the door. Doors that I waited for years to open were flung open for a season, then closed again. No, I take that back. Those doors were slammed in my face. Boom. Just like that. Shut.

Instead of grabbing the handle and forcing the door back open, I stood still for a little bit. The door was cracked open just enough for me to see glimpses of what was, and what wasn't anymore. I glared. For days, I stood there.. Looking. Couldn't pry my eyes away. My eyes were so fixated on the past that I couldn't look away. I couldn't look away long enough to let the door shut.. Until He slammed it for me.

As I was standing on the other side of the door, I finally took my focus away from what was left of the past. I looked up. As soon as I decided to look up, He snatched me up. My big, strong Jesus held His two hands out for His achy, tired daughter. With one hand, He held my hand. With the other, He slammed the door shut.

Was it easy to see that door shut? No. The sound made me cringe, and the memories.. They stayed behind the door. They belonged there. They'll stay there.

Sometimes, without reason, doors have to be slammed. God has to slam them off the hinges because He needs you to look up. He needs your hand to clasp His. Don't worry, though. As soon as He shuts a door, both of His hands are free. Then, just like the sweet Father He is, He uses both to pick you up and cradle you. And that... Well, that is the safest place to be.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

No more running.

Picture yourself. You're five years old, clad in a dirty old dress and tennis shoes caked with mud. You spend all day running through your yard, basking in the sunlight and rolling in the dirt.You smell like grass, sweat and dirt. You've been playing with bugs and building dirt mounds for hours. Your hair is flying in every direction possible. You're a mess. A stinky, dirty, filthy mess.

While you're running through the yard, it starts to get dark. You're aware that soon, he'll be home. You're momma has been inside for hours making sure supper would be ready in time. Your heart skips a beat. As you turn the corner behind the tree, you hear his truck. It's loud roar startles you, but brings you comfort. As he gets out of the truck, you run. No, you don't run to jump in his arms.. you run away. As fast as possible. You want him to chase you. Even though you've been running all day, you want him to have to work to catch you. So, you run. What does he do? He chases, of course.

You're dirty, smelly & downright icky. You have been rolling in muck for hours.. remember? He still chases. You run fast.. He runs faster. You take all kinds of routes. You run behind trees, He's keeping up. You run in zigzag patterns, He's faster still. Finally, He catches you. He picks you up and you squeal in delight. Your Daddy caught you. Without hesitation, He lifts you up and kisses your forehead. He holds you in His arms.. dirty, messy, you. He is just so happy He caught you.

You have a Father. A loving, beautiful, tender Father. He longs to hold you in His arms. He wants you to slow down so He can catch you. You're running as hard as you can.. but He can run faster. Stop running in patterns, hiding behind things and trying to take your own route. He can catch you. Let Him.

Psalm 139:7-10

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
      to be out of your sight?
   If I climb to the sky, you're there!
      If I go underground, you're there!
   If I flew on morning's wings
      to the far western horizon,
   You'd find me in a minute—
      you're already there waiting!
   Then I said to myself, "Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
      At night I'm immersed in the light!"
   It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to you;
      night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to you.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Another fifth.

It's the fifth.

Two years ago, the fifth of every month was just another day for me. It was a day that I spent thinking about homework, tests, my to-do-list and my long list of "problems".

But then December 5th happened.

It was a day that changed my life for good. It was a day that made me realize how fragile and precious life truly is. The fifth of December broke me down and broke my heart.. but then built me up and made me stronger all at once.

On December 5th, Heaven gained a new angel. A girl I called my little sissy and my friend.

On the fifth of every month, I don't cry my day away, or drown in the fact that she's gone. I don't dwell on the fact that I'll never have another conversation with her, or that I never got to hangout with her that one last time.

Nope. I just love.

I love extra hard. I love so hard that it probably annoys everyone around me. If I love someone, I tell them. I spend all day thanking God for the people I love. If someone is important to me, I have to spend time with them. I have to. It's the only way I get through the day without breaking apart.

All I know is, I loved today. I loved so hard that it hurt. I loved because.. well, there is not enough time for me to sit back and take my time.

We may hear it a million times, but tomorrow isn't a guarantee. Tonight isn't either. We can't think that we have forever... because we don't. So, if you care about someone, tell them. Don't wait until you can't. Love like crazy. Love until you don't have any left to give. Love OUTLOUD. Just love.

Monday, January 10, 2011

First letter. I.

Dear Illness,

You do your best to tear things apart. You don't stop your rampage when affect a body. No, you go much, much deeper than that. You seep into hearts. You stroll into homes filled with families, memories and laughter and take a seat where you don't belong. You dance through churches full of people praying to be rid of you. You aren't satisfied with tears, sorrow or heartache. You aim for one thing. You run wild throughout a person until death is seen as the only answer. You think you're going to win. You feel like your infection and disease will be victorious. You. Are. So. Wrong.

You see, as you seep into hearts, walls are thrown up to keep you out. As you stroll into living rooms full of giggles and conversation, you are overlooked and ignored. As the church doors swing open for you to rush in, you are halted by the whispers, shouts and arms raised in praise to your Enemy. You are shocked. Disturbed. Powerless.

You never win. You were defeated long, long ago. As blood poured down a rough, harsh cross, you were overcome. You lost all of your power. Your sting was left dripping down to the ground beneath my Savior. You can't destroy. You can't harm. You can't bring end to anything. He WON. He wins. He. Will. Win. You might as well give up.. His people know Him. His children know His beautiful heart. They know that He is love. His people know you will be defeated in the end. You will be lost as feet land on streets of gold and in front of a throne surrounded by angels shouting praise. You lose. While you may think you are breaking apart hearts, families and lives, you are really just showing the mighty power of my God. My love. My protector. You are thrown off by the Creator of all things beautiful. He wins. That's that.

A daughter of the Healer, Comforter and great Physician.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dear me,

November 26, 2009.

A year ago. What would I tell myself if I had the chance?

Dear Me,

1. You have a little over a week to get to Kelsey and hug her. Hug her for as long as you can. Tell her you love her. Remember every little word she says. Don't take the time you have with her for granted. On December 5, you won't have another chance. You'll have to put on a black dress, sit in a sanctuary full of people and let go of her. Don't fight back the tears. Cry. It's all you can do.

2. You like a boy. He's older, more experienced and not the best idea you've had. His sweet words and charm take you somewhere you've never been. He changes you. Don't spend every five minutes checking for a missed call from him. He doesn't care enough to call you because he doesn't care enough about you. Don't tell him your secrets, don't hold his hand and don't kiss him. He's going to hurt you when you least expect it. Run as fast as you can and don't look back for him.

3. Take in and remember every single girls night. Take pictures in your mind of those nights spent in your pajamas baking cookies and watching movies with your girls. Patch together all of the nights at the football games, the mornings at iHop and the birthday dinners. Hold on to them. A year from now, you'll do anything to have another one of these nights.

4. Don't be afraid to admit you're wrong. You are.

5. Fall into Jesus' arms. Don't yearn for someone elses' arms to cradle you. His arms are the only ones that can hold the struggles, sins and tears you're holding on to right now. It's time you put all of them onto Someone who can hold them for you.

6. Call your bestfriend. Every single day.

7. Tell that girl sitting next to you in class about Jesus. Stop thinking it's okay to hold back the Gospel. It's never okay.

8. Drive to the beach, take off your shoes and just sit there. A year from now you won't be able to find the time to do that.

9. When you feel like laughing, laugh. When you feel like dancing, dance. Actually. When you want to laugh.. laugh until your stomach hurts. When you want to dance, dance like a fool.

10. When the night of your senior prom comes, take in every little part of it. You are lucky enough to get to spend it with the best guy you know. You'll never, ever forget it.

11. Don't strive to impress or to please people who don't care about you. It all amounts to nothing in the end.

12. When the arrogant, cocky, egotistical football player ignores you, remember that. He'll come back into your life again and you'll need to remember how he treated you before.

13. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. P R A Y. pray.

14. Take Dr. Pepper on Spring Break. Trust me. You'll thank me later.

15. Be sure to take a video of Caroline swag surfing on the mattress in the beach house.

16. But! Don't wish for Spring Break to get here faster. After that, everything flies by. Way, way too fast.

17. Spend as much time as possible with your youthgroup. Don't miss a trip, bible study or prayer breakfast.

18. Be yourself. It's about time you try that..

Love, me.