Monday, January 31, 2005

The Eleventh Hour

My friend Taryn is leaving for Holden Village tomorrow. She's going to be a volunteer for a couple of months and I'm so jealous. I've always wanted to go to Holden and experience it. Someday I hopefully will. Anyway, she and I are playing phone tag and can't seem to get a hold of each other. So I hope I get to have a "last chat" with her before she heads up north and into the world of no cell phones and no internet. The only way you can communicate with someone who's at Holden is through written letter! Isn't that crazy?. . .but also strangely inviting? For me it definitely is. We should all write "real" letters more often, I think. I say this, and I'm a HUGE e-mail girl. But still. . .wouldn't it be nice if we took the time to write more often? I used to love it whenever I got a letter in the mail--and when I was younger, that was the way to keep in touch with friends from camp, etc.

I rented the movie Thirteen this weekend and whoah. . .that's some scary/crazy/intense stuff. Parts of it hurt to watch, and yet I identified with the girls at times--trying so desperately to fit in, etc. Wow.

So I have a "trendy new hairstyle" (or so I've been told). I got red highlights and I really like 'em. . .it's definitely different, but not too different. I had several people at church tell me they didn't recognize me at first. ha ha! Maybe I'll post a picture soon.

I'm boring tonight! My apologies to you, reader.

Here's a recent reflection of mine on some lyrics penned by one of my favorite bands in the world, Jars of Clay:

Rescue me from hanging on this line
I won't give up on giving you a chance to blow my mind
Let the eleventh hour quickly pass me by
I'll find you when I think I'm out of time

These lyrics really hit me the other night as I was driving home. I think I've been holding on too tightly to my life and not giving God the chance to blow my mind!! And the last line rings true for me, as well--I find God just when I think I'm out of time. I've been thinking I'm out of time in several aspects of my life. . .and that's just plain silly. I'm never out of time when it comes to what God is doing. . .never. But sometimes when I think I'm out of time (or think I'm in control of a certain situation, or completely forget that God is working), that's when God shows up out of the blue. And the places He's taken me, the people He's brought to me, the circumstances He's orchestrated. . .He definitely blows my mind. Thank You, God.

Take the place of my heart,
till I become a stranger to my life.
I've been down without you, wrong without your love.
In time will I be what you're thinking of?

Friday, January 28, 2005

10 Things. . .

Facts About Me That (Sometimes) Surprise People:
1) I was a dancer for 10 years and at one point in life was certain I was going to Juilliard to be a ballerina on Broadway (*sigh* just visiting the website makes my dreams resurface). If I have any regrets in life, it's that I quit dancing.
2) I love rap and hip hop music. In fact, if you catch me at any point in my car, I'm probably listening to hip hop with the bass up really loud. My current cell phone ringer is set to "Gigalo" by R. Kelly. That's right, I'm a gangsta. :)
3) I have never been intoxicated (read: drunk) by alcohol. And I don't plan to be anytime soon. And I consider myself a pretty dang fun person, if I do say so myself. ;)
4) Though I pledge to be a huge Lord of the Rings fan, I still have yet to see the third and final movie. What a dork! Anyone wanna watch it with me?
5) I used to be a cheerleader (sometimes this surprises people, sometimes it doesn't at all. . .), but I couldn't tumble worth anything. And at that age, I wasn't getting along with the other girls on the squad and I totally ditched my real friends (fellow band nerds, a clan of which I'm now proud to be associated with) for the mostly fake friendships I developed in cheerleading. What a mistake and a hard lesson to learn from. Thanks to my friends who knew the real me--and forgave me!
6) I've always had this inner desire to totally change my wardrobe. Sometimes I want to be Miss Trendy and be one of those girls who never wears jeans and always looks like she's on the cover of a magazine. . .but most of the time I wish I could get away with wearing cords and thrift store t-shirts all the time. But alas, I am 23 years old and a "professional". . .so I settle for thrift store clothes on weekends and cute clubbin' outfits for nights out. . .whenever those are. . .ha ha
7) When my sister was born and I found out she had blue eyes and blonde hair, I told my parents I was going to run away because I thought my sister would be prettier than me! ha ha. . .I'd say we both turned out to be pretty cute, though. :)
8) Due to my dancing history, I love to put together dances/musical numbers for an audience. My siblings and I, under my direction, would put on a Christmas program for our parents every year. . .and nowadays we get out the home videos of these programs and end up rolling on the floor from laughter. Good times.
9) In relation to #8, I was an extremely bossy oldest child (like #5, sometimes this surprises people, sometimes it doesn't at all. . .). I was mean. My apologies to B, L, & B for being hard to live with at times.
10) I'm a very curious person. Annoyingly curious. If I have the opportunity and don't think I'll get caught, I have been known to look at or read something that is none of my business. But don't worry--I probably haven't done it to you. ;)

Thursday, January 27, 2005

If, Masks, and Margaritas

I have a book of questions called If. . .Questions for the Soul that a dear friend gave me for my birthday and I decided that it'd be fun to use them as starting points for blog entries. So I will answer one question tonight.

Okay. . .here's the question of the day:
If there was one thing that you do consistently in order
to be accepted by others, what would you say it was?

Goodness. I think I agree with people and compromise what I really think in order for others to like me, think I'm 'cool,' whatever. Sometimes I'll just agree with something someone else says and inside I'm thinking, "I don't really agree with this idea, but I want them to like me." Isn't that stupid? Or if I'm talking about something I'm morally against or a behavior I just don't think is necessarily positive, and I get a response that differs from my personal opinion, I'll compromise and say, "Yeah, I think that's true" or something. I'm getting better about it--I'm getting to the point where I'll now say, "Yeah, I see that, but. . ."

Today I spent time with a fabulous girl who makes me laugh a lot!! She's precious and so much fun. And we discovered that Wal Mart sells those scary masks that robbers wear--you know, the ones that have holes cut out for the eyes and mouth (just in case you're hungry while you're in disguise: with these babies you can totally grab a snack and still keep the enemies guessing your identity)!! Freaky.

And tonight I enjoyed a much-deserved margarita night out with youth minister friends. YESSS! It's so fun to have friends from TLU who work here in Austin. And I bet you can tell it was a wild 'n crazy night--I'm home at 11 pm and ready for bed! :) ha ha What can I say--I had a long day. . .

How could such a King
Shine His light on me
And make everything beautiful again?
--David Crowder

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

It's Picture Time!

I go a little crazy with the picture posting because I want to show off my family and friends. . .so sue me. :) Get used to it and beware--you could show up anytime (of course, I may ask you first just to get clearance before I post your face on the www)

Dad and me Posted by Hello

yay for the annual Christmas pictures! mom, stepdad, and the kiddos Posted by Hello

BFF! Em and I always laugh at this because she's totally talking while she's smiling--and of course it's just like me to put it on the internet! ;) Posted by Hello

my besties! me, Mium, Court Posted by Hello

Lauren & Leah--I love my sisssyyyy! Posted by Hello

Something Stirs

So I'm yoga's newest fan. Say hello to the new me--a chill, flexible, beautifully at peace with herself Lauren. Um yeah. . .that's the goal at least. :)

But seriously, we did yoga for an hour tonight at stress reduction and wow!! It feels so much different than a jogging workout. . .but it's still as intense, if not more so. Totally lovin' it.

And now, since I'm relaxed and making time to be contemplative for a moment, I'll fill you in on the latest tug I'm feeling in my heart. I read a quote today by Dan Lambert, who's apparently a youth worker somewhere, and he writes, "We need to be a sending generation. Between 95 and 99 percent of the world's youth ministers live in the United States, but we have less than 3 percent of the world's youth. More of us need to go work in the developing nations." When I read that, it really spoke to me. Something is stirring deep inside me. . .and I'm not sure if it's related to now or maybe a year from now, or when. . .and I'm not sure if it's related to somewhere out of the country, some inner-city within the U.S., or where . . .but I think God's working on me and preparing me for something I might not have previously envisioned for myself. And although I don't believe that the time is necessarily now, I do think that God is peeling away some stuff inside of me that keeps me from going where He calls me in the future. I keep wondering, "Am I too comfortable?"

But don't fret, kids! I'm going to be around for a while. It's a way cool experience to hear something new from God and not quite know what to do with it. . .

What are you hearing from God??

Shout-out to Jules--because I'm pretty sure you understand the whole "figuring out where we're headed in life" thing. You're still my favorite boss ever! And I'll never forget sitting in my dorm room and tearfully saying goodbye after an awesome, challenging, crazy first year of working together. I look up to you still (and probably always will) even though I don't see you often, even though we're miles apart. . .

and so it is.
just like you said it would be.
life goes easy on me
most of the time.
--damien rice

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Shape is Gone

Okay, so Leah has pictures on her blog and now I want to copy her. :) Although I'm kinda tired now so they may not get posted tonight. . .but at some point, you may feast your eyes on some of my favorite pictures for your viewing pleasure.

I just got back from BSF and the lecture tonight was all about the rapture. Hmmm. It made me think a lot about what's true and how much we're (society) straying from the Truth. But then again, some of the things I feel that society is straying from I'm wrestling with, too. . .and I think my conscience is fueled by the Spirit, so. . .whatever. . . .I don't feel like being all "intellectual" right now.

On to the next random subject.

At BSF, I talked to a girl who's in my discussion group who just happens to be from Arlington and she is totally related to an old friend of mine!! She mentioned the church she grew up in, and I was like, "Oh my goodness, did you know Alex?" blah blah blah. (And no, I didn't just ask if she knew "Alex," although that would be funny. I did in fact mention a last name.) And she used to babysit him. What a small world. Seriously. The funny (and at the same time, not-so-funny) thing is that this old friend of mine is married now. And I didn't think it would affect me like it did. . .but I was thinking about it a lot. I mean, Alex was my 4th grade boyfriend, people. It was serious stuff. :) Really, though, it's just weird to find out that people you haven't seen in forever are married and have lives that you know nothing about. Isn't that strange? Even though it makes complete sense, it's still strange and weird and. . .

Mmmm. Cookie dough is yummy.

Okay, so In Good Company soundtrack: not as good as I'd hoped. I know I raved about it in my first entry, but I hadn't received it in the mail yet and yeah. . .the only ones I really love are the Iron & Wine ones. So this means that I just need to buy an Iron & Wine CD. Wow, what a concept.

we gladly run in circles
but the shape we meant to make is gone
--I & W

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Weekend Fun

I had a great weekend!

Yesterday, I hung out with Miriam and her family at the outlets. It's hilarious how Mium can coax me into buying things. I've learned that if I'm going shopping with Miriam (especially at the outlets), I'd better be prepared to spend more than I expect because she always finds something that she can't live without me having. :) It's so funny. And it's so cool that I have a friend who loves dressing me as much as she does dressing herself. She loves to find cute dresses and fun outfits that are "very Lauren." I bought a cute sweater. And J-Lo sunglasses. . .yeah, I'm love the (fake $10) bling-bling.

Then I hung out with Court and her new guy. He's very nice, and totally into Court (he bought her a DVD player today while we were shopping--random?! just for the heck of it, too!) It's so special to see a guy being so into her. . .makes me smile. :)

Tonight was youth group and we had tons of fun, as usual. My kids are absolutely hilarious and they're smart, too. They have their heads on straight and they know God. I'm blessed to spend time with them.

Goodnight, sleep tight!

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. --Maori proverb

Friday, January 21, 2005

I love Friday!

Your ideas mature gradually--let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don't try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
. . .Accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.
--Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
The above is an excerpt from a poem I received in the Stress Reduction clinic. . .cool stuff, I think. Life is so hurried. . .and I don't think God works in the way we do at all--He's much slower, and it's sometimes hard to be appreciative of that.
Last night I worked on my application to the Texas State grad school. I've decided that that's the best option for me right now. I remember while I was at TLU thinking, "Okay, I'm going to go somewhere far away and prestigious for grad school--forget the whole Texas school thing." HA! I think it's kinda funny to see where we end up in relation to the 'great plans' we construct for ourselves. My life has been all about plans. . .and the majority of those plans either came about in completely different ways or sometimes haven't even happened at all.
So anyway, I like Texas State, and since it's public it'll be cheaper (aaah! I don't even want to think about paying for school yet. . .) and it's close and honestly, I'd like a public education rather than a private one for my master's. I think it'd be good for me. I'm super excited about starting school next fall because, let's face it, I'm a huge nerd who misses writing papers and studying. I'm sure that opinion will start to change come October. . .
Yay for Fridays off and sleeping in! Tonight I'm going to John's to watch Saved by the Bell on DVD with Marcy, Janie, and John. Who knows how many episodes we'll actually be able to handle in one night, but I'm willing to bet we'll get pretty into it. Yes, we are all over 22 and this is what we call "fun." And yes, we've all been looking forward to it since Monday. YESSS!
I'm off to work out. . .or that's what I'm telling myself at least. But like I said, sometimes our plans don't go as planned. . .
Shout-out to Court: for long talks, silly talks, ridiculous jokes that no one (besides us) will ever understand, and for this friendship that will probably always baffle our minds--who would've thought?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Just had dinner with a friend from 7th grade! Wow, it's crazy how we've "grown up" and how we're still growing up. She's one of my favorite people to talk to about this time in our lives. We agreed that up until now, everything in life has moved on a fairly universal scale. Elementary school--7 years. Then it's junior high--wow, we're moving up and getting older! For us, 3 years. Then, the move to high school--it's official--you're driving, you're going on dates, you're gaining independence, you're cool. 4 years. Life changes and we move on to college where our hearts and minds are forever touched and molded in ways that we never saw coming--4 years.

And then what?

Post-college--?? The questions are numerous: How long am I here for? What is my purpose? What's next? Am I even making a difference? Sure, I have a job and I'm "one of the lucky ones," but man. . .isn't there a next step? Isn't there another spot on the timeline of life for me to look to, to gauge my progress with?


I wonder where the timeline is. . .when in reality, from here on out, it's completely up to me. I can be here for as long as I want. I can move on tomorrow if I really want to. There's nothing stopping me.

And yet I still form my own timeline. I still have it in the back of my head. And I guess the rest of my life I will wonder what the next step is. I'm glad I recognize this tendency in myself now so that I can at least make a better effort to enjoy what's right now. Because someday I will look back and think, "Man, why didn't I enjoy being 23 instead of constantly looking for what was next?"

Remember to breathe
And everything will be okay.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Numero Uno

Okay, so my profile is really long. If you're reading this, it probably doesn't surprise you at all that even my profile is long-winded. ;)

So I've had a "private blog" for quite some time now, and since I've been having so much fun reading others' blogs, I'm thinking it'd be fun to put one out there in cyberspace for you to read. Yes, you.

I saw the movie In Good Company this weekend with my sister. . .I wasn't a huge fan of the movie itself, but the soundtrack ranks up there with Garden State's in my mind. Check it out. A bunch of Iron & Wine and Damien Rice. . .not much could be better in my mind at this point in life. I've always been a fan of the mellow acoustic stuff, but lately I've really been into it.

I was treated to lunch by a wonderful person today. :) I've missed being around him! I can't describe what it's like to sit with him and just know I'm known. I'm understood. I'm comfortable. I'm me. Thank You, God, for healing and friendship.

I'm participating in a Stress Reduction Clinic for 8 weeks. It's very cool--I'm feeling very in touch with my body and learning ways to reduce my stress. Not that I'm extremely stressed out right now, but I definitely have the potential to be. . .and I want to avoid that at all costs. The people in this clinic are from all walks of life. Like BSF (a Bible Study I'm in), I'm enjoying meeting new people from all over Austin.

It's time for a shout-out: to my sister because she's just so awesome. She was here this weekend and it was super fun!! And she's absolutely wonderful and a huge blessing in my life. I can't wait until she moves down here this summer!

Oooh, I think I'll give a shout-out once a week, or each post, or something. That'd be cool, huh?
I'm such a nerd. And who says "shout-out" anymore, anyway? Oh, right, this is coming from the girl who wishes she could pimp her ride with subwoofers and spinning rims. . .

There's still a little bit of your song in my ear. There's still a little bit of your words I long to hear.
~Damien Rice