Monday, February 28, 2005

Never Forever

Prayers for my brother, Byron, who went to the ER last night on a meningitis scare. Thankfully, that test came back negative. He had a spinal tap! Ewww. Poor guy. And Dad said that when he went in to wake him up and take him home, he was all drugged up on morphine and acting really weird. He gave Dad this really mean look and Dad thought he might punch him or something! How funny when your son is big enough to really hurt you and doesn't know what he's doing. Anyway, Byron is feeling better today, but I still wonder what's messing with his body, so please pray that his health returns.

It's a beautiful day! (Did anyone else hear the U2 song in their heads just then? Maybe I'm just a U2 freak. :)




I've been wading through all the sad remarks
but now I'm learning for myself
I have to see you even one last time
because everything is never forever.
~Working Title

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Ooooh. . .Radio is a good movie! And I forgot to mention Big Fish earlier as another favorite. . .

YOU make me feel like new

I hung out with 3 great sixth grade girls this weekend @ Youth Quake. It was such an awesome event--I highly recommend it. Fabulous speaker, great bands. . .definitely touched my life, which I didn't expect going into it. Oh, the ways God surprises us. . .

One of the things that really stuck out to me was something the speaker said about heaven. He said that he firmly believes that when we get to heaven, all of our loved ones will be waiting in line (after Jesus, of course) to give us a huge hug and welcome us into heaven! When he said this, I started crying. I couldn't help it, I couldn't stop it, the tears just came. I had to get up and go to the bathroom, hide in a stall, and just cry. Imagine that! Imagine all the ones who love you and have preceded you in death just waiting to welcome you to your eternal home! It still makes me cry. What a joyous place. I can't wait.

I rented a couple of movies tonight: Radio and Lost in Translation. I have tomorrow off, so I want nothing more than to just chill out and watch a movie. Whenever I'm at video stores, I'm always reminded of movies I've seen in the past that affected me in different ways. Here are some of the ones that, without a doubt, make me cry every time I watch them:
*Raising Helen (a new favorite)
*Vanilla Sky
*Shawshank Redemption
*What Dreams May Come
*Simon Birch
*Serendipity
*You've Got Mail (I know, I'm a dork.)
*When Harry Met Sally (I know, again.)
*Monsters, Inc. (yes, even Pixar motion pictures require Kleenex)


Regarding other business, I need to work on my sermon! Apparently, Beth Marie gave a big plug for Wednesday night this morning in church. . .I hope people don't expect too much. . .I'm not getting any big theological revelations lately. . .but I trust that He will work as He usually does.


Alright, I'm out. Peace!



I like to chew my gum with God.
~Beth Gearhart

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Oh, Kids

I just got back from a dreary, cold 'n rainy weekend @ Camp Chyrsalis. It really was fun, I just hate this weather. . .that is, when I have to be outside in it. I have one story to share that happened on the way back when we stopped for dinner. One of my 5th grade boys was talking about the hamburgers at The County Line restaurant and how they are "sweet"--meaning sugary sweet. Then another 5th grade boy, sitting across from me, replied, "Yeah, the hamburgers at The Yellow Rose (*at this Lauren shoots him a confused look, for reasons to be explained later to those of you who are clueless as to what The Yellow Rose actually is) are really sweet, too. I haven't been there, but I heard it on the radio. Have you been there, Lauren? Why is your face red? Why are you laughing so hard? WHAT IS THE YELLOW ROSE??"

Oh my gosh, guys, I about lost it right there. I couldn't swallow my food, I was laughing so hard. Our adult male sponsor was laughing, too (though not nearly as hard as I was) and said, "Uh, ask your dad later." which made me laugh even harder.

My friends, introducing The Yellow Rose: a gentleman's club (why do they call them that? I don't think 'gentleman' is the word I would choose, but who asked me. . .) that apparently serves pretty dang good food. And my innocent 5th grader is a keen listener, for I have heard the exact same radio commercial advertising their "sweet hamburgers." Oh my goodness, I still crack up laughing picturing the innocence on his face. He said it like he really wanted to go there, guys. And how would he actually know what type of a place that is, anyway? All I can say is, they've got their advertising up to speed if 5th graders are interested in their place. Makes me sad.

But you gotta admit, it's hilarious when a kid says it. Reminds me of the time I was walking with my youth director and another sponsor around a neighborhood in Arlington on a scavenger hunt. We had passed by a house that had a lot of cats out front, and I wanted to go back to it. So I said, "C'mon, guys, let's go back to the cathouse!" And I wondered why they got red in the face from laughing just as I did earlier. . .funny how I'm in their position now. LOL

Another thing from this weekend: we had a scavenger hunt and the kids were asked Bible trivia questions. Well, one question my group got (they were meant to be hard) was On what mountain did King Saul die? (I think) and one girl whispers loudly to the group, "Guys, it's Mount Rushmore! It's gotta be Mount Rushmore!" Another girl snaps back, "No, Mount Rushmore is in the New Testament--this is in the Old!"

Oh, kids. . .




Father of Lights, You delight in Your children.
~camp song

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I'm so OLD

Okay, so I realize I got mad at schools in my previous entry for not having or sticking to a dress code for students. And I also realize that I, as a student some years ago, used to complain and absolutely HATE dress codes. So I guess I'm being a little hypocritical. . .actually, it just makes me feel old. Wow, Lauren, you're pushing for something that you used to hate conforming to when you were younger? Uggghhh. When did I become so "parental"? But seriously, it still annoys me what some people wear these days. And maybe I need some justice, here--if I had to go through the threat of having the vice-principal hold a ruler up to my leg to measure how short my shorts were (yes, it was ridiculous), then I just want the rule to stay in place for those after me.

Okay, enough about that. Just wanted to acknowledge the fact that I feel like an old lady.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Sound Off

Aaaaah! Return of the King is soooo good. I was, of course, bawling at the end. Just me and my kitty, sitting on my couch. . .yep, that's Lauren's version of a movie night. Simon's a fun Valentine, though! :)

Pastor Halvorsen is so affirming and such a blessing to me. I love her very very much. She teaches me a lot. Just wanted to give a quick shout-out to her.

I went to Austin High today to have lunch with Jackie and Kendra. It was so crazy to be at a high school again. Alycia and I had just talked about Mean Girls and our own experiences growing up in "girl world" and how real the pain can be. Girls are just mean sometimes. Anyway, the super short skirts (girls, come on now. . .and schools--whatever happened to that thing called a dress code??) were everywhere, as well as all-black outfits, food being tossed around, and cussing. Wow. It's been a while for me. And I just want everyone in high school to know: there is so much after this, so don't waste your time being someone you're not. The majority of your your years on this earth occur after high school. Be confident. Be you!! I'm proud of my youth group--most of them are totally secure in themselves. But regardless, the rules that govern high school society can eat away at anybody at some point.

Know that you are loved. Know that you are His.





Lately you've been contemplating.
Is this real or is this fading?
What brought you here in the first place?
~Mae

Monday, February 14, 2005


ha ha Posted by Hello

Sunshine and Beautiful Days

I can't believe how beautiful it is outside today! It's great. I sat by the pool and talked to Miriam and caught up on my BSF lessons for the week. It was nice and quiet--just me and the pool-cleaning guy. :)

I mailed my Texas State application today. Yessss. Glad to have that off my desk (and off my mind).

So I still haven't seen Return of the King, and I'm thinking I'm going to go rent it and just plop down and watch it tonight after BSF. Granted, this means the movie won't be over until midnight, but I slept in today, so it's all good. I just really need to see it and once I get something on my mind, I have to do it like. . .right now.





there's a love that transcends all that we've known of ourselves,
and i'll wait for it to come, i'll wait for it to come.
~Copeland

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Giving It Away

Oh my gosh, I have two new absolute favorite bands: Mae and Anberlin. So awesome. Check 'em out. I could listen to them all day every day. Of course, I say that about all my "new favorite bands." But whatever. This time it's for real yo. :)

Leah and I hung out with the Wisconsin folk again last night. Tons 'o fun. I'm so thankful for them. Although Ben challenged me to do 5 push-ups and I could only do 3 real ones (I know, I'm a wuss) and now my chest muscles have been sore all day. Crappy!

And I'm so glad Leelah (ha) was here visiting. It was a great weekend. We went to Buffalo Exchange--great place to shop. So it was a weekend of new things for me.

I'm bothered by a person in my life. That's all I'll say. Losing sleep for days. Is this just a phase? Are there other ways? The one who sings is the one who pays. Oh, well, I guess it's about time I get over it for good anyway.

Day off tomorrow! I'm soooo ready for some chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool. . . :)

So no, I don't have any Valentine's plans. But I did get a rose from Jeremy. What a sweetheart. This will be the first Valentine's Day in a few years that I don't have a valentine. But I'm okay with that. By the way you brought me here, It makes believe, the best is still yet to come, and I don't want to leave.

Have a good one, kids. Remember He loves you more than anyone here ever could.

To give up now doesn't make much sense.

*all lyrics quoted above by Mae*







Saturday, February 12, 2005

Off Schedule

Wow.

Lock-in last night. I came home at 9:30 am and slept til now (5:30 pm). Leah's here and I'm so glad she was able to come!! Sometimes I didn't even remember she was around--she just hung out with the group and when I'd see her I'd do a double take sometimes, like, "what's my sister doing down here in Austin?" ha ha The lock-in was super fun, though--I think it was a success.

I think God totally had me meet a few people this weekend for a reason. The Life!Worship team played at the lock-in, and I had the fortunate chance of hanging out with them and WOW. Such cool kids. I totally felt like I'd known them since childhood within the first few minutes of hanging out with them. Yep, they're just that cool. I feel like I have such a connection with Shelley--like we're going to be close friends. And my new buddy Nate introduced me to some cool new bands (well, new to me). . .so yay! I'm always up for good music. Their travelling lifestyle made me miss college and the freedom of taking a year off and travelling. . .granted, I guess you can't really miss it when you never actually did it yourself, but my summers consisted of a lot of that "sleeping on floors with the same group of people" stuff, so I can kinda connect. They gave me a boost--spiritually and emotionally. I'm so sad they're leaving, but hey--it gives me another excuse to head to Wisconsin! I'm starting to think I'm part cheesehead because I'm drawn to Wisconsinites all the time.


My vacuum cleaner smells like burning. Sad! It's really gross.

Okay, off to shower and then hang out with my new buddies one last time before they leave! :( Have a good day, kids.



All that I know is how I can hold on.
All that you see is how I let go.
~Jimmy

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Dust

Okay, I have a confession: I would absolutely love to audition for American Idol. I think it would be so much fun! Every time I watch it, I get all excited and wish I could be on stage, too. I might check it out further, see when they're nearby. . .just for fun. ha

Ash Wednesday today. Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. During Lent, I think I'm going to take a walk outside once a day, clear my head, talk to God, reflect. Lent is such a different, somber time of year for me. And every Lent is different, you know? You're at a different point in life, different parts of you need healing, different sorrows, different joys, different perspective on Christ's death and resurrection. I gave the ashes at our service tonight, and my crosses were ugly compared to Sam's (he was responsible for the other half of the sanctuary). I bet my people were jealous of other people's crosses. :( Sad!

Oh, wait, I was just talking to one of my kids online and she wrote, "thank you for doing my ashes tonight." How sweet! Who thinks to say that, anyway? She also said that she got in a fight with a friend and looked up a Bible verse later that made her realize she was in the wrong. How often do I look in the Bible when I'm in a fight with someone--much less to find that I'm wrong? She's a precious, awesome girl.

My favorite Lenten hymns: Ah, Holy Jesus; O Sacred Head, Now Wounded; Go to Dark Gethsemane; In the Cross of Christ I Glory.

Lock-in this Friday. . .aaaah! I'm excited, but I better rest up b/c I'm going to be crabby if I'm tired--and that will not be fun.




Go to dark Gethsemane
All who feel the tempter's pow'r
Your Redeemer's conflict see
Watch with him one bitter hour
Turn not from his griefs away
Learn from Jesus Christ to pray.
~LBW 109

Monday, February 07, 2005

Something I Can't Define

I went for a run today after work and it was so cool and crisp outside--loved it. I think everyone should go outside more often. And not just on the way to the car or on the way to the front door of home or work--but really be outside for longer than 5 minutes. It's just good to get fresh air and to remember that other things are going on while you're cooped up inside all day. Plants are growing, animals are moving, clouds are changing, wind is blowing, and the sun is shining (or rain is falling). So that's my new idea--to go outside more and take a walk or run or whatever. Especially as spring is getting closer, take advantage of the outdoors! I remember at TLU when I walked everywhere and I really miss that. I'm in my car way too much nowadays. . .and I know people will say, "Well that's life in the real world," but why does it have to be that way? I wish the real world could be like college (doesn't everyone, Lauren?). . .you walk everywhere, chat with those you encounter on the way to and fro, and take time to reflect on life. I experienced more revelations about life while I walked around on campus than I ever did while sitting in class. And I would say it's because I was forced to be slow (the times I wasn't running late, that is) and purposeful. And I didn't have distractions like my car radio (which I could of course turn off, but that never happens). And I was outside breathing fresh air. In the 5 minutes it took to get to class, I could unwind a bit, prep a bit, think a bit, hum a bit, laugh to myself a bit.

Interesting.

Following this post are some recent pics. Have a great day, my friends.



You just don’t seem to see
I’ve been waiting all this time
To be something I can’t define.
~The Format



my cute kitten, Simon. Okay, so he's not exactly a "kitten" anymore. . . Posted by Hello


Byron, Barrett, Dad, me, Leah @ Dad's "25th Anniversary with CMC" dinner--fun times! Proud of mi padre! Posted by Hello


I am so hilarious. :) I told Leah to take this picture of Dad chatting with co-workers while I throw in a surprise from the background. I'm a dork; Leah says I look like Pac Man.  Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Sunday Night

WASSSSSUP.

I had a fun weekend with my family. I miss them. And now I'm going to put up my clothes and make my bed, then get into my bed and sleep.

Simon says hi.

Oh my gosh, the Best of Will Ferrell SNL DVD is sooooo hilarious.

More to come later this week.




I close my eyes and believe wherever you are, you're an angel for me.
~Jimmy

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

It's the Little Things

Sometimes things just work out. It's weird. For instance, every Wednesday night I put together an activity or game of some sort for the 7th & 8th graders at the beginning of confirmation. And this is hard, guys. I'm not a games girl. I'm not a wild 'n crazy youth director who plays all the sloppy messy games. (Court tells me that I'm a sucky youth minister because of this fact; however, I promptly tell her to shut her mouth.) Anyway, my ideas never work out. My kids hate my games--at least, that's my interpretation of their constant talking to each other and laughing while I'm trying to talk. Then again, these are the hallmark traits of middle school behavior, I guess. Regardless, I hate planning games. And it turns out that I have these books in my office that are full of "middle school games"--advertised to be perfect for adolescents. The games described in these books are absolutely ridiculous. . .they sound so silly and I thought, "There's absolutely no way my kids would get into that." But out of desperation, I tried one tonight. And it was perfect. They loved it. They were having fun! And when it came time to pray, they were quiet. I can't tell you how exciting it was for me. It was a chair game, guys. . .a circle of chairs with the object being to keep the people in the middle from sitting in the empty seats. . .sort of like musical chairs. And they enjoyed it. They were laughing. I was cracking up at the sliding and falling and pushing and shoving.

I love those kids. . .that is, when they love my games. ;) Just kidding. I love them very much. But when we have fun together like that, it makes it so much more fun. Adolescence is hard, and being friends with adolescents can be even harder (remember junior high, folks? man, it was rough. . .). Sometimes I think they hate me, and the next minute I think they like me. It's funny.

Thank You, God, for Your precious children. And thank You for my change in attitude--all because of a silly game!




I am extraordinary
if you ever get to know me.
~Liz Phair



Tuesday, February 01, 2005

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

My Dad is such a nerd.

But you gotta love him. I mean, when your dad reads your blog (and posts comments on top of that), he must be super cool. . .

. . .or just really weird. . .HA HA

Either way, I love him a lot. :)

My family is very special. . .and by "special" I mean both interpretations--dear to the heart as well as quite different from other families I've had contact with. It always makes me miss living all together in one house whenever I call home and they're all chatting (or in my sister's case, yelling) in the background. :) Family is so important. Don't take it for granted. If I had to pick the one place where I feel absolutely comfortable and 100% "me," it would be with my family at home in Arlington. Without a doubt.

My family knows me in ways no one else does nor ever will. My Mom can tell by looking at me if something's bothering me inside, and my Dad can describe things about me that I never even realized were there. My siblings know my most annoying characteristics as well as, hopefully, some of my nicest qualities. And the coolest thing is that nothing can ever break that. My brother lives here in Austin and though I don't see him very often, it's still so nice to know he's here. And I know we can count on each other if we need each other. And sometimes I'll think of some silly joke from when we were kids and I'll call him or my other siblings just to have a quick laugh about it. No matter where we are in life, we'll still have the same jokes, the same memories, the same parents, the same childhood family traumas and joys. What a blessing family is!!

I would love to go back in time to a family vacation. . .just for a day. . .

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.
~Erma Bombeck

Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted.
~Paul Pearshall

The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family. ~Thomas Jefferson

Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future. ~Gail Lumet Buckley

When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.
~Joyce Brothers