Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Face-lift....

My blog has been redecorated and I love it! My friend M'chelle Reedy offered to spruce it up for me and I took her up on her offer. I think she did such a great job and my header really depicts my personality. The dog in the header is my Westie, Sophie, who I thought deserved to be a part of the project. I look forward to seeing this welcoming, cozy header every time I blog. Thanks again, M'chelle for all your work! It is great.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Branson and Broken Glasses....

My mom and I returned from a vacation to Branson, Mossouri on Saturday. My dad had to return to Abilene on Tuesday to continue working, but he did get to enjoy Friday through Monday with all of us. Grant and Laura as well as my cousins and their little ones returned on Wednesday. So that just left my mom and I plus my grandparents and my aunt to finish out the rest of the week. When my grandad first suggested Branson as a vacation spot, I was a little skeptical. I am not really a show person, although, we did see one show-Pierce Arrow. It was a show full of a mixture of country and gospel singing in addition to a wonderful and clean comedian. When we arrived in Branson, I was greeted by beautiful scenery and my worst enemy-very hot temperatures and very high humidity. It really reminded me of Houston. I came home with a new appreciation and love for my friends Steve and Chelsie Sargent. I know that you get used to the heat and humidity, but those two factors and I don't mix very well. The guys spent a lot of time on the golf course and the girls spent time shopping in flea markets and antique stores and poking around historic downtown Branson. Our family also enjoyed some wonderful time just being together and sharing great meals throughout the city.

On the first full day in Branson as we were all preparing for communion, a very sad thing happened: the glasses that I have had since I was a senior in high school broke into four pieces. A family member very accidently sat on them. I really liked those glasses. I have needed to go to the eye doctor to get a new prescription for quite awhile but I don't enjoy getting my eyes dialated. He has to do this every time I visit. My vision is really bad if I don't wear my glasses. I like to go through life taking periodic rests from wearing them, but the truth of the matter is, I need them pretty badly. As a result of having no glasses, I get to make an appointment with the eye doctor and pick out totally brand new ones. I just thought I would check back in. I hope your day is blessed.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Good Times....

This past week and weekend was really good. On Wednesday night, one of my dad's little friends got baptized at Jacob's Dream on the ACU campus. It was my first time to witness a baptism there. I really enjoy Jacob's Dream. It is a very sacred space where I feel the Spirit of the Lord. Then on Friday night our family got to spend some great time with two other couples that we always go out with on the weekends. It had been quite awhile since we had all gotten together. All of the families have been very busy this summer. One of the couples have a son that just got engaged and the other couple has had a family member diagnosed with cancer. So this summer has been filled with major life events. Throughout the summer, we usually all get together for dinner and then go to someone's home to play Chickenfoot on Friday nights. It is a fun time. I have really missed these people's presence in my life. It was so great to see them this week.

Then on Saturday night my parents best friends and two of my close friends came over for dinner. One of the aforementioned friends has just gotten back to the US after spending a year in Egypt. My other friend that came has just begun working on a Masters in Social Work. It was wonderful to reconnect and see what has been transpiring in their lives. I was so blessed to hear what the Lord has done in them and through them and how He is using them in the world. God has absolutely lavished my life with godly frienships -ones that will last a lifetime no matter where we all end up. I am thankful for the ways these great friends have shaped and sharpened my witness of Christ. I think the Lord knew exactly what He was doing when he brought these special people into my life. I praise Him for the gift of close friendship.

On Saturday, my family is heading to Branson, Mosouri for a week. I am getting excited. I have heard good things about Branson. I am looking forward to some good time with my family. All in all, the Lord has been so good.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Whispers of Wisdom....

Wisdom. For about a month and a half that word, its biblical meaning, and the practical concept of what it is supposed to look like has been crying out to me. It has found its way into my quiet daily devotional times with God, it has found its way into my prayer life, and it has been bounced around as I have meditated on what exactly godly wisdom should incorporate into my day-to-day walk. Gaining insight into a humble, righteous, and Christ-shaped wisdom has been foremost on my mind in recent days and weeks. And then, yesterday, the Lord did what I have come to expect Him to do-he totally surprised and delighted me with a scripture about this precious trait. The Spirit led me to one of my favorite books, the book that is synonamous with wisdom: Proverbs.

"I have taught you in the way of skillful and godly Wisdom, which is comprehensive, insight into the ways and purposes of God. I have led you in paths of uprightness. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered, your path will be clear open; and when you run, you will not stumble. Hold firmly to instruction and do not let it go; guard it, for it is your life." -Proverbs 4:11-13.

The Lord left me undone. What rich, beautiful, and precious words. This word from God showed me in black and white what wisdom is and what ingredients it contains. I have a deep yearning to be a woman of wisdom. I do not want to live this vapor of a life foolishly in the eyes of the Lord or man. But, honestly, I try not to concern myself with what others think of me or my actions. I am centrally concerned with how the Lord will evaluate and weigh the actions, words, relationships, gifts, acts of worship, and the witness of who He is in my life when I stand before Him and give a final account of my earthly life. I want all of these components of the sacrifice of my life to come together and add up to a life lived fully and totally surrendered to the glory of the Lord.

I want with every fiber of my flesh, my mind, my character, the knowledge I have gained, and the meditations of my spirit to build a house of wisdom, gentleness, lovely authenticity, grace, kindness, goodness, generosity, and ever-deepening worship with the sacrifice of my life. I desire to live humbly, authentically, tenderly, and worshipfully in this world and in the presence of the Lord. Wisdom is teaching me to carefully wait upon my King to build, refine, and shape the tapestry of my life testimony. Wisdom is teaching me to hunger after heavenly things. Wisdom is guiding me to fall relentlessly in love with my Sustainer, Creator, and Redeemer. I am so grateful to be loved in this way, to be loved so much by a God that is so far from my finite realm of comprehension. I bless you Lord. I love you. I praise your name. Thank you for teaching me to be still and listen. Continue, I am on my knees, and I am waiting.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Life According to Lorelei and Rory....

Like most young women in America, I too am very fond of the wonderful show known as Gilmre Girls. It is in my top 5 favorite T.V. shows. Although I own all seven seasons of my beloved Gilmore Girls, I anxiously await the rerun shown on ABC Family at 4:00 every weekday afternoon. I have seen each episode 500 times, but for some reason, I just can't get enough of the wit, the quirky citizens that make Stars Hollow such an endearing community, and the pop culture references. I really enjoy the close-knit relationship Lorelei and Rory share with one another. I like the ebb and flow of the different relationships in each of their lives. I love seeing what sort of pickle Kirk will get himself into. I love Babette's dirty mind, and I love how Luke patiently waits for Lorelei to love him. I just think Gilmore Girls is one of the greatest shows on television. To prove my point, my entire famiy consisting of my mom, dad, and brother have all sat in front of our T.V. in the family room totally entraced in a world dominated by Gilmore Girls. Both my mom and dad have proclaimed, "Lauren, start the next one." This show is that entertaining.

To be honest, I don't think there are a lot of shows on T.V. in our society today that are worth taking the time to watch. You may think I'm a little naieve, but a good portion of my favorite shows have been taken off of the air. One of the shows that I love that has been a victim of this is Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. Some of my other favorites are Leave It To Beaver, Jon & Kate Plus 8, Hopkins, I Love Lucy, and The Andy Griffith Show. I love Barney Fife. As you can see, I enjoy family-frendly shows that center around values that are far from the radar of our present-day society. It seems to me that we have traded wholesome, good-for-the-soul shows in for plain trash that constantly bombards the minds and character of men, women, and children. I have had to make a decision to be very careful about what I allow myself to watch. This is very difficult. I have really tried to shield myself from anything that dishonors the Lord and what He stands for. I have found that nearly every show in primetime and daytime t.v. has some sort of profanity that bilittle and totally disregard godly principles and ways of living. Does anyone else feel this way or am I the only one?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Dream of a KitchenAid Mixer....

I really like to watch cooking shows. Most of the time, my Saturday mornings are spent watching Food Network. I like a lot of things about this channel. There is one common thread that runs through all of my favorite chefs' shows- Paula, Ina, and Giada all own KitchenAid mixers. I like to bake anything be it cookies, brownies, cakes, shortbread, the list could go on and on. Ever since I became a Food Network junkie, I have pleaded for my very own KitchenAid. My mom has always promised that when I get married she will buy me one because I have never had a place or a definite need for one. Every Christmas I have secretly prayed that the Lord would mysteriously place one under the tree, but alas, it has yet to come to pass. I have kidded with those I am close to that the only thing that would top getting a KitchenAid for Christmas would be if the Lord placed a guy under the tree on Christmas morning :) And believe me I have secretly prayed for this as well! I'm sorry Mama, that boyfriend in a box that you put in my stocking a couple of years ago just isn't cutting it.

I truly don't know what my fascination with this mixer is about. Maybe I'm thinking that if and when I ever receive one, I will be a real cook. Maybe the gift of a KitchenAid would signify that I have finally arrived in adulthood. I don't know. All I know is that I have wanted one for a very long time.