Monday, June 30, 2008


Throughout my 25 years of life, the Lord has afforded me many blessings that I have felt are extravagant, beautiful gifts of His favor and grace. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a very relational person. I thrive off of the relationships in my life. Now, let me just say, by this I mean that I am sharpened, shaped, guided, mentored, and grown into the image of Christ and His character by the gifts of these relationships. I have been so blessed to have the gift of longevity in many of my friendships. I have found that these frienships are the richest-the ones that have been worn by time, distance, and connection. I love the familiarity of a well-worn, close-knit friendship. I feel as though my soul is at home with the people who have earned my relationship. I love having to take the time to really get to know my friends. I love knowing what makes them tick, really knowing the depth of their relationships with God, praying with them, encouraging them, getting to know their families, and having the honor of being in their homes. There is no greater blessing than a friend who truly knows me and continually points me to Jesus. I also feel so blessed to know that I am going to spend eternity with my friends worshipping before the living God.

If you have been reading my writing for long, you know that I am an intercessor. Prayer is one of my deepest passions and joys in this earthly life. I feel that I am fueled with the most purpose from the hand of God when I am in the midst of the power of prayer. The power that resides in bowing my heart soul, mind, strength, and character before an all-knowing, holy God absolutely leaves me astounded and utterly amazed. I feel most at home when I am bowed before Jesus. I say all of this to say, that one of the most precious honors I have found is when the Lord gives me the sacred opportunity to pray over and to physically lay my hands on the precious life of one of my friends. There is no more cherished thing that I have ever been a part of then to see the power of prayer at work in the lives of my friends. The number of truly treasured friendships that I have the blesssing of considering close take one hand plus two additonal fingers :) The Lord truly has just been right in the midst of these friendships, leading them and drawing them to Himself. I am abundantly blessed. The Lord has been exceedingly good to me.

Thank you for giving me such life-giving, sacred, soul-sastaining, and Christ-honoring friendships that I will have for a lifetime to draw strength and power from, Father. I have been drawn further into Who you are as a result of the overflow of the lives of these precious relationships. Thank you for the honor of truly knowing them and seeing You reflected in their ambitions, dreams, their life's work, and the sacrifices of their hearts. You deserve all the honor for the rare gift of such rich, treasured relationships. Again, I say thank you!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Latest Reflections....

It seems as though I cannot get through any of my posts without mentioning the Lord and his activity throughout the various seasons of my journey with Him. Sometimes I wonder if those reading my writing grow weary of hearing how I am growing in Jesus. There are times that I think, "Come on, Lauren, is there anything else you can write about?" I don't want anyone to think that my life and my journey with Christ is perfect because it is so far from where I want to be! I have so much to learn and so many more miles to travel with the Lord. There are days when I don't have the strength to put one foot in front of the other and cry out to the Lord to guide my steps and to fill me with His power. In fact, I have found that I have to do that on a daily basis and if I do not there will be great consequences. I know with every fiber of my being that I can do absolutely nothing without the blessing and strength that the Lord supplies. Anything that is good in my life and in my journey of discipleship is a direct and extravagant gift of grace straight from the hand of God.

I am incredibly mediocre and completely average without the light of Who Christ is. That is just a fact. I have come to find that living in the richness and beauty of the Lord is the only way to go if I want a life that is beyond my wildest imagination. Living my life surrendered to the leading, movement, and guidance of Christ has brought such an immeasurable joy and peace to my spirit and soul. I take such confidence from the fact that God has my future competely under control. To be totally honest, it has taken the pressure off of me, and for that I am so thankful. I just get to live in the goodness, joy, peace, confidence, and grace of an incredibly great God. My life is secure in His certainty. There are days when I whine and doubt and sometimes they just sneak up on me. I know that the Lord must get really annoyed when I do this. It is like saying, "Lord, I think I'll take my life in all its brokenness and uncertainty and do what I please. I think I can and will do a much better job than you can. Plus, you are working at a snail's pace. Pick up the tempo!" How dare I show such arrogance and dishonor toward my Creator. I want to honor the Lord and revere his name and His ways.

The Lord has shown me that life is so much better and smoother when I let Him have complete soveriegnty, access, and control to all areas of my character, my life, and the purposes He has for me to fulfill. Besides, He has proven time after time that he is totally capable of handling every part of my existence. And His qualifications are so far beyond what my finite mind can conceive or comprehend. I bless you Lord and I thank you for knowing exactly what my needs are and for holding my life safely and securely in your hands that also bear my name and the scars of humanity's ignorance, arrogance, and self-sufficiency. I want to be one hundred percent dependent on you, Jesus. You are the meaning and definition of all of who I am and all that I yearn to become. I love you.

Monday, June 23, 2008

No Words....

On Saturday afternoon, I returned from a three-day prayer conference in Phoenix called PrayerQuake. To say that I loved it is putting it at the mildest point possible. My prayer leading up to the conference was that the Lord would open my mind, heart, spirit, and soul to receive whatever the He had in store for me. I wanted to be completely surrendered and open to His will and what was on His heart concerning my inner life and my inner reputation. I truly cannot express in words what I experienced. This conference and the quality alone time with the Lord came at a wonderful time because I have been walking through a season of trying to embrace godliness in every area of my life. I desire godliness to be the standard of my entire being and everything that I am. Here are a few of my observations and imprints left on my heart by God.

1. The times of worship were completely orchestrated and visited by God. PrayerQuake took place at a non-denominational church which I absolutely loved. If I had to categorize this church, I would say that it is Pentecostal. There were shofars blowing, flags waving, people dancing in the aisles, and men and women down on their knees worshipping before God. At several points during these times of worship, I found myself thinking, "I cannot wait for life in Heaven because I know this is how we will worship before the Throne of the Most High. " These people were not ostentacious or arrogant in any way. What showed was the absolute reckless abandon they possessed as they worshipped in Spirit and in Truth. It was phenominal! The other thing that I really respected and admired during these times of worship was the way in which the leaders of this conference did not want to squelch the moving of the Holy Spirit. They totally understood that we were experiencing hollowed, sacred times with the King of Heaven. They knew they were on holy ground being visited by the Lord. I felt as though I was in the throneroom of God.

2. I came home with a renewed and fervent passion for my communion times with the Lord. I am always very excited to spend time with God, but this conference confirmed the need to spend my entire day being led and fed by the promptings of God and the Holy Spirit. I want desperately to allow my schedule to be dictated by the agendas of the Lord. God has placed an insaitable hunger and thirst for His Word deep within my inner man the past 5-6 months. Being devoted to reading His precious Word--what he thinks, what he says, what he knows, and who he is has become a matter of life or death to me. I am desperately wanting to become at home in the Word of God. I want to be challenged by it, changed by it, encouraged by it, and convicted about how to live my earthly life so that the Lord alone can be honored, revered, and loved with every single thing wihin me and about me.

3. The speakers at this conference as well as the workshops were very authentic and powerful. I participated in a class about the power of praying God's Word, one about hearing His voice, and one about the realities of spiritual warfare in the heavenly places as well as on earth. I received such beautiful, rich treasures from each one of these classes. I want so badly to be intentional about all three of these subjects. I won't go into all of the specific things I received here. To be honest, there are just too many. Suffice it to say, I received rich, transforming information that will help equip the incessant, fervent, Spirit-saturated person of prayer that I yearn to become.

God is good and my heart and spirit are full. Through the fruit of this conference, the Lord opened wide the storehouses of my spirit, soul, heart, and mind to pour in His knowledge, His joy, and most importantly, His heart so that I in turn can be ready and waiting to bless those in the Body of Christ and in the ordinary, day-to-day, mundane areas of my life for His glory and honor. The name of the Lord be praised. I am abundantly blessed.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Favorite Seasons....

There are certain things I love about all the seasons. I love that seasons exist and measure time. It seems that just when I am tired of one season, the next one comes and brings a new freshness and rejuvination to my life. My favorite seasons are Fall and Winter. Some of my favorite things about each are:

1. I love to go to high school football games on Friday nights in the fall. Being a West Texas girl my entire life and having a father who is a rabid fan has fostered this love affair. I love cheering on my beloved alma mater and hearing the drumline play. I love the friendly but fierce spirit of competition in the air. In my family, because my dad is the rabid fan he is, we have to arrive at the stadium at least an hour before kickoff. Oh, the life of an Eagle fan :) I have such fun and fond memories of these times.

2. I love the smells of fall. Cinnamon, apples, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, cloves, and that certain smell of burning firewood that is distinctly fall. I love burning candles during this time of year as well. It just makes me feel warm and cozy and it makes my soul feel at home.

3. I love getting all bundled up during winter. I love wearing sweaters, gloves hats, coats, and scarves. I like the fact that during winter, I kind of have to unwrap myself from my coat, my scarf, and my gloves to finally be comfortable enough to stay in a place for awhile. I also love the sense of community that I feel during winter. There is something about this season, that when I am around people, makes me feel alive and warm and cozy all the way down to my core. I truly feel the warmth of community during winter. I feel that there is a tangible sense of loyalty and faithfulness as well as a close-knit bond with those we love during this season.

4. I love Christmas. It is my favorite time of the year. The thing I love most about this holiday is the traditions that make each one special. I love all of the decorations, the music, the festivities, and the special touches that make Christmas special. I love the warmth of being together that surrounds Christmas. I love all of the delicious meals that make Christmas memorable. Most of all I love that Christmas is a time to be thankful for all the things I have been blessed with.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Reasons to Rejoice....

Throughout my journey in discipleship, it has been very important to me to learn and understand all I can about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. When a person looks at my life from a worldly and natural perspective, they see that I have many reasons to be defeated. I walk with a limp, my eyes do not work properly, I have a learning disability, I have to deal with a lack of spacial awareness and so forth and so on. I was not supposed to make it to 25. Satan wanted me to die the day I was born, in fact, he tried everything in his power to make that happen. Thankfully, God had a different plan. God's plan was to restore me, to work through my limitations to capitalize on His power, and to teach me that He is the one running the show of my life. I praise Him for this every day.

One of the reasons I rejoice is because I know that God can and does work through every situation I face. I rest assured in the fact that I can do anything through the power of the Lord. The power of the Lord is so much greater than anything I possess or boast in. If I rest in the certanty of who He is, than I am confident in my abilities and giftedness.

Another reason I rejoice is because I do not rely on my physical body anymore. By this I mean that I rely fully on the Lord to accomplish anything that is good in me. I rely on the Lord for everything that I need. Now, yes, I have days when my flesh gets the best of me and I hate when those days come because I want so much to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. I am learning that God allows me to have those days because I need to constantly be reminded that I can do nothing without Him. Flesh days allow me to see the depth of my need for Jesus and the filling of the Holy Spirit.

The thing I rejoice in the most is the fact that my beauty cannot and is not calculated by the things and methods of this world. I belong to a God who constantly reminds me of my beauty. I have really tried to learn to see myself through the eyes of God. This is hard sometimes because I live in a world that is constantly bombarding me with temporal beauty. This world does not focus on the contents of the heart, the contents of character, and the contents of soul and spirit. I have had to turn to my God to define who I am. His opinion and evaluation of my life is the only one I am concerned about. I am thankful that we all have a place and purpose in this world. I am thankful that if we seek the things of eternity we will find the face of God.

Don't let the things of this world define who you are. Don't be defeated by what this world thows at you. Most importantly, know that you are a priceless, one-of-a-kind creation of God. Be blessed.

Monday, June 09, 2008

My Cup Overflows....

Lately I have been thinking about all the good things in my life. God has been and continues to be exceedingly good to me. In our world it is so easy to focus on the negative things that tie us down. I don't want to be that kind of person. I want to be a person who is aware of the many blessings God lavishes on me on a daily basis. I want to live in a posture of thankfulness, gratitude, and ceaseless praise. I have a wonderful family, wonderful, Heaven-sent friends, a Spirit-filled church, a home that is my haven and so much more. I want to focus on making the people and places in my life better. I want to focus on the joys of this world. I want to watch for the blessings of the Lord. I want to expect the goodness and favor of the Lord.

This last Sunday Highland took communion in my favorite way. The entire church came down to the front row by row to recieve the body and blood of Jesus. I think this is a very holy and sacred way to partake of communion. This is because I get to embrace people who are very special to me as they come to the front. I get to bless those who have blessed me. Each time our church does this, I feel as though the Lord truly is in our midst. I cried as I watched my mom and dad serve the people in our section. It is just really special.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Recent Thoughts and Meditations....

Here are some of the things that have been rolling around in my mind:

How does the Lord orchestrate the different seasons in our lives and how can different seasons become intertwined?

Sometimes I want so badly to understand the mystery and the many complexities of the Lord, but I know that He is God and I am not.

I have yearned for wisdom, discernment, and a surrendered heart.

I have wanted to grasp a deeper sense of understanding regarding God's timing and sovreignty.

I yearn to disengage myself from this world and focus solely on Heavenly things, but my flesh wins out some days. I am constantly working on this!

Take me deeper into holiness and godliness, Lord.

Thank you for being in control, for having all of the answers to all of my questions, and for your ways being higher than mine. You are good. You are faithful. You alone are God. Blessed be your name.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Fun Facts....

I have been tagged by my lovely friend Chelsie to share six random things about me. I did this a couple of months ago and had so much fun trying to figure out silly things about my personality. Here goes round two.

1. I love being surrounded by pictures of close friends and family. Seriously, my refrigerator is full of precious pictures of precious friends and family members that I have shared memories with. Each time I glance around my little home, a broad smile creeps across my face and across my soul. God is so good and my life is so full. I use these pictures scattered around my home to remind myself to pray for my friends and the ones who are closest to my heart.

2. My favorite patterns are toille, paisley, damask, harlequin, and small plaids. Any object with these patterns causes me to swoon and turn my head. I think patterns add so much zest and fun to life. Let's face it-a world without pattern would be very sad and very dull :)

3. One of my deepest passions is intercessory prayer. I feel like one of the reasons God created me is to enter the courts of Heaven in order to intercede on behalf of the needs and desires of others. I find such a deep joy in intercession. I find myself praying all the time, through whatever I'm doing. I'm so glad God dosen't get tired of hearing from his children because I talk to him a lot :) Prayer is my lifeline. Prayer teaches me surrender. Prayer teaches me authenticity. I absolutely love that in prayer I cannot wear any masks because God already knows everything about any part of my life and my journey with Him. I LOVE to pray about all things at all times. I yearn to become a better intercessor. I want to constantly grow in this area.

4. Another passion of my heart is ministering to elderly men and women. In the fall of 2007, as part of my coursework in the Social Work program, I was given the opportunity to be an intern at Coronado Nursing Center in Abilene. It was in this place that God confirmed my love for this very special population. I was totally honored to sit and talk to men and women who were lonely, people who were sick, people who were starving for interaction, and people who silently pleaded for prayer. Every day when I entered the holy ground of that nursing home, my soul was filled and my heart was stirred. It was as if God was filling me every day with everything I needed to bless those precious people and I was given the task of being His light in the halls of the nursing home. I am so thankful for that season in life.

5. Any time I get really excited about something, I gasp really loudly. I have no idea why this happens. For example, in the fall of 2007, two of my closest, most precious friends were preparing to get engaged. One of the guys who is also part of this precious group of friends was preparing to tell me that I was invited to a celebration that night honoring these two people. I was getting really excited, because I knew it was close and I was excited about this new marriage covenant. He said, "Lauren, you have to remain calm. You cannot freak. You have to keep a straight face." I think he said these things because he knew I could not hold in my excitement. And yes, in spite of his little pep talk, a huge gasp escaped from my mouth. My family laughs so hard when the "sucking air" begins.

6. I love to play any type of board game, but one of my favorite games to play is Chickenfoot. I do realize that Chickenfoot is a game played with dominoes. My parents and I along with two other families who we are very close to gather in a home on Friday nights during the summer to play Chickenfoot after a good meal. I love the community and the sharing that happens while playing this fun game. One of my favorite board games is Monopoly.

Chelsie, just in case you were wondering, you and Steve are on my refrigerator and every time I see your faces my spirit and my face smiles.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Let The LIttle Children Come....

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will not enter it." -Mark 10:14

Wow. Those are very powerful and convicting words. Today, I got to partake in something very special and very holy. I got to spend precious hours with my cousins Emma Beth, who is three, and Lily who is six months. As I enjoyed talking to Emma Beth over her Subway lunch, and listening to her three-year-old conversation, I found myself praying silently over her. I asked the Lord to give her a bold, strong, and steadfast faith. I also asked Him that whatever tiny seed I planted within her soul would take root deep within her spirit when it was time. I was honored to read to her out of a tiny old, tattered book of King James scriptures that my Grandma has kept through the years. At the end, I heard these words form and come out of my mouth,"Emma, these are God's words; they are called scriptures. Anything that God says is very good." Honestly, I did not expect to say those things. I can only think that those words came out of a teachable moment entrusted to me by the Holy Spirit. Thank you, Father.

I got to read Love You Forever which is one of my all time favorite childrens books. There is a point near the end of the story where the grown son is holding, cuddling, and rocking his elderly, sick mother singing, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living my Mommy you'll be." It is at this point in the story that I cry. I think I cry becasue of the tenderness of a moment like that. Today, I saw the face of God through the faces of Emma Beth and Lily. Jesus met with me as I read, as I cuddled, as I changed clothes, and as I loved on two of my favorite little girls, who to Jesus are some of "the least of these."

I praise the Lord for little children. I adore the raw honesty they bring to any situation. I adore the authentic, non-judgmental faith they bring. Thank you, Father, for giving me the gift of time and the gift of memories today. I cherish and treasure these times.