Saturday, August 31, 2013

i give...

I give Him my dreams because only He can make them a reality...

I give Him my heart because He alone can treasure it wholly...

I give Him my physical appearance because He is the one who knit every single part of me together...

I give Him my soul because He deserves for a flame of passion to be alive in my heart...

I give Him my steps because I know He will direct me to the right path...

I give Him my words because I want them to reflect His unwavering love....

I give Him my eyes because they need to see more of who He is...

I give Him my weariness because simply knowing who He is, is all I need...

I give Him my words because they need to only bring glory to His name...

I give Him my future because He is in full control...

I give Him my relationships because I want them to be honoring to Him above all else...

I give Him my expectations because He will always blow mine out of the water...

I give Him my blog because He alone can give me the words to speak...

I give Him my bitterness because He loves me in the times when I don't deserve to be loved...

I give Him my everything because He paid for it on the cross.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

fall afresh...

I recently discovered this song by Jeremy Riddle, performed by Bethel Church ft. Jeremy Riddle. Wow. I mean WOW. First of all, what a beautiful song. The harmonies are spot on and it just sounds gorgeous. If that wasn't enough to have you keep listening, the lyrics are phenomenal. After I listened to it a few times, the lyrics began to speak through me. I encourage all of you to check this song out and see what the Lord puts on your heart, it will change your perspective.

My dearest Savior, 
I thank you for bringing me to this stage in life. You have worked through me in ways I never would have imagined or expected. Thank you. I ask you now to awaken my soul. You will always be my first love. You will always be first in my heart. You deserve nothing less than all of me.  Keep the fire in my heart alive for you. Blow through the caverns of my soul, pour in me to overflow. Cover my soul with your mercy and calm my heart in moments of fear and worry. In moments of uncertainty, remind me that You are in control, You love me, and You are high above it all. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

here we go...

Hey Guys! I am way excited to be writing this write now...I'M OFF TO BIBLE COLLEGE! As you read this, I will be at registration getting my dorm assignments, signing up for classes and settling in! I can't believe this day has finally come! Be sure to be following me on Twitter and Instagram for updates throughout the day! I am open to all the things the Lord will show me...who is ready to go on a two year adventure with me??

Oh by the way...this is my 100th post!! YAY! Can you believe it?! *celebratory dance*

Saturday, August 17, 2013

He knows the way...

Fact about Lauren: I am a total control freak. If I don't know what is going at all times, every minute of the day, I get anxious and crazy. Most of the time, I have my day planned out hour by hour. Things I have to accomplish, events to go to, etc. If something can get ugly 'round these parts. With that being said, this past year was very very difficult for me in that respect. My life changed in many ways in a matter of days. I started my first job, I was accepted into my bible college, I started to  lead worship for my youth group, started my second job, awhile I was trying to finish up my senior year. That makes me tired just reading it. I can't even remember how I made it through the weeks. (Actually, yes I can, lots of coffee!) As I look back on all of that, I'm amazed that I was able to do that  I'm amazed that the Lord allowed me to experience all that. He is a big, big God and you can do anything if He gives you the strength. I was definitely a walking Philippians 4:13 billboard!

So here I am, writing you this post a week before I leave for school. A week before I pack my things, leave the family, and start a new chapter of my life. Some people shake their heads. Some of you may be asking yourself these questions.

 "Why would you spend two years at a bible college?"
 "Shouldn't you spend your time at a 4 year, accredited, state school?"
 "How will you possibly be able to support yourself??"

After weeks of receiving the same questions over and over, I quickly found the best way to respond.

1. Because I have a hunger and thirst to learn more about God's word! This time will never be returned post void!
2. Because the Lord brought me one school. One. It was clear that this is where He wanted me to go. I don't know why, but I'm going anyway. I've learned the hard way to listen the first time when He tells you to go somewhere. (Hellllooo?? The story of Jonah everyone??)
3. I will be supporting myself. I will be going to my bible college to get my Associates in Theology and specializing in Worship Ministry. I want to sing. I love to lead worship. My prayer is to return to my church here after my two years at school with much more knowledge than before. I want to be fully equipped if I am going to be entering ministry. As far financial support goes, my plan right now is to return home after two years and start cosmetology school. I will get my cosmetology license and start working at a salon. I wanted to find a career that was flexible. Why? Because my hearts desire is to be a Godly wife and mother.

There you go. I have prayed for a long time about all these decisions. I have come to the Lord with open hands offering all this up to Him. It is all I can give. He has all the rest. These plans may change or they may stay the same, all I desire is for His name to be glorified!

Have you ever walked down the stairs in the dark? You've done it a million times, your feet know what to. But still, there is the fear that you may miss a step. By faith, you keep walking. By faith, you put all your trust, being, and life into something you can't even see. That is what I must do. Walk into this journey with open eyes and joy in my heart. He has paved the path...He knows the way.

Friday, August 16, 2013

friday letters...

Happy Friday everyone! I can assure you that I am welcoming this day with open arms! So, I would like to mark this occasion with a special post! Whit from black little button does this every week and I have loved reading it, so I thought I would join in on the fun! You simply right letters to-well-anyone and anything! Shall we....??

Dear Coffee: I need a big cup of you this morning. Actually, a few big cups. Yeah, it is that kind of day.

Dear College Life: I am ready for you. Are you ready for me? 9 more days...and the countdown begins....

Dear Voice: Where have you gone? I woke up this morning and you were missing. This is becoming a recurring event that needs to end.

Dear Packing List: You just keep getting longer. Eventually, I will get my head on straight and begin packing. Oh dear.

Dear Readers: Thank you all for being so supportive in this time of my life. A lot is changing and it has been kind of a crazy time for me. I promise you guys will receive a proper life update once I'm settled into school!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

i am grateful...

             The Weekly I AM GRATEFUL Link Up with A Girl Smitten
Happy Tuesday guys! The lovely Sarah at A Girl Smitten created this awesome linkup. It's simple...just list the things you are grateful for this week. So..I'm all in!

This Girl.  She is like the little sister I've never had. Mentoring Katie this past year has been an amazing experience. She has the biggest heart for the Lord and she will do amazing things. I see a fire in her that is unlike any other in girls her age. She starts her sophomore year tomorrow-whaaaatt?? This girl has grown up so much this year! Love her to death and I'm so grateful for her.

These Shoes.  I promise. I will stop talking about them after this. But oh my...these shoes are fantastic. Not only are they ridiculously comfortable but they are just so darn cute. So cute in fact that I will wear them with just absolutely anything. Even sweatpants. Don't judge. 

This Guy. He's amazing. And he comes home in 3 days. 3. So right about now, I'd be pretty grateful for a time machine. Email me if you have details about that. 

Opening New Doors.  Guys. I leave for college in 10 days. 10 days. Since when is that a thing? I'm extremely excited. I sat down the other day to actually go over my classes. It was one of those moments where everything started to feel real. It hit me. Not in a "I'm going to have a meltdown" kind of way but in a good way. I feel no doubt that this is what the Lord wants me to do. I can't wait to go and spend two year pouring my heart into God's word. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

adventure met me right where i was...

I'm not a very adventurous person. Sorry, you just won't find me crawling out of a window at 3am to head off to a party or any other kind of fun-or even remotely exciting-event. I'm a huge homebody and I just don't go on any adventures. After my week in the mountains, The Lord taught me that  I need to start letting go. Start enjoying the tiny moments in life you can't ever get back. Tonight was filled with those moments. 

A rightful adventure must start with a 3 hour trip to the pool. It was the best. Especially late in the evening. And especially because we were the only ones there. 

Yes ladies and gentlemen, I will wear these sandals anywhere with anything. Even sweatpants.

Our fro-yo combos look gross, but usually that means you are doing it right. 

Mishaela, my very own adventure buddy. This wasn't taken at a red light. And no, the car next to us didn't stare at us. Not at all. 

Only proper humans would end an adventure like this with two things: pizza rolls and blasting "We Owned The Night" by Lady Antebellum. A proper end to our adventure.

I can see it. You are sitting there asking, "Lauren, what is so adventurous about that?". Well, as I sat in the pool with my dear friend Mishaela, I realized that this may be the last time I see her before I leave for college in less than 2 weeks. It may be the last time we can sit for 3 hours on pool chairs and talk giddily about life. Talk about life in a way that was different. It's changing for both of us. We are entering stages that will change our lives forever and we couldn't be more excited. We laughed so hard at things no one else would understand and shared memories that gave both of us butterflies. Mishaela is such a dear sister in Christ and I am blessed that the Lord brought her into my life. 

Sure, I didn't go hiking at sunrise. Sure, I didn't go on a safari in Africa. Sure, I didn't go skydiving. But that's okay. Because amidst the laughter, fellowship, and cannon balls into the cold water, adventure met me right where I was.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

take me back...

Hello Guys! I'm so happy to be back after being at camp with my church family for a week. It was an amazing week. We all had a blast and spent the week on the lake, in sessions, and learning more about who we say Jesus is. I even got somewhat adventurous and went stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing, and zip lining! It was all so much fun! Not only that, but I was surrounding by God's beautiful creation. I'm so thankful for this week, my amazing friends, and all the memories made! 

The Lord's voice spoke so clearly this week. I am about to enter into a few big stages in life. The one thing I can take away from this week is to take one day at a time. I need to have faith that the Lord is in control. If I try to micro-manage every single aspect of my life, I can quickly become so overwhelmed that I don't enjoy anything that is going on. So this week I let go, gave Him my trust, my hopes, and fears. I know that His plan is always going to be greater than mine. 

Who's ready for a massive photo dump?? Readdyyy....GO! 

I just couldn't stop staring at that lake all week

LOVE this shot
Break out sessions
Studying the faithfulness of Abraham 
Reunited with the special guy after 3 long months:) 

On Super Christmas Sprit Day! 


Victory Circle. About 30 people that week came to the Lord for the first time! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

guest post by the amazing Julie!

Hello there everyone! 
I'm so excited to have one of my best blogging friends guest post for me! This is Julie and she is absolutely amazing! It is crazy how we just clicked when we started talking! She is the best! Not only that but she an extremely talented writer and photographer. If you haven't joined her blogging family, you are missing out. Well, what I am I doing here talking? Take it away Julie! 

Hello there! I’m Julie, and I blog over at an anchor for the soul. I’m SO excited to be posting for the lovely Lauren while she’s away having a blast at camp (totally jealous).

Today I want to talk about something that God has placed on my heart to share with y'all. I've been thinking about having an identity in Christ a whole lot lately. It’s something you can say and think a million times, but never truly understand. And I feel that was my exact situation for a while. Being identified in Christ is a lot more than just calling yourself a Christian, going to church, and reading your Bible. It takes so much more from you than that. It takes your whole heart, your everything. 

Because of Jesus and what He did so selflessly and beautifully on the cross, we can have this new identity, this new name in Him. Because of Jesus, we are looked upon by God to be blameless, sinless, and His. We are called to be children of Christ. We are called to find our identities in Him alone.

This world gives us so many ways to opt-out of doing that. People define themselves by their jobs, their status as a mother or father, their husband or wife, their accomplishments, or their failures. God doesn’t see us that way. He sees us as His beloved, precious children. And He wants us to see ourselves that way too! Ephesians 1:5 says, “In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will”. His pleasure and will. God is so so pleased when we see ourselves as He does. When we identify ourselves in His holy name.

I realized that truly identifying myself in Christ means that I am wholly His, wholly devoted to being a servant to the Lord. And defining myself as such. If anyone asked, that above all, I am a sinner set free with Jesus’ blood, changed inside and out, and given grace upon grace by His love and sacrifice. I am a daughter of God who will make His goodness known. I am God’s loved creation. That’s who I am, and who I will be for my whole life now that I’ve been found in Christ. Nobody can take that away from me. And nobody can take that away from you either. Let us rejoice in His greatness today, and be grateful we can find our true identities in our Creator!

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Monday, August 5, 2013

20 things you may not know about me...

Happy Monday Guys! 
I thought it might be fun to share 20 things you may not know about me! 
For those of you who don't know, I am currently camping with my church family for the week and will return next week! Hope you are having an amazing day! 
Love You All! 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

Hello there! It is time for the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop #24! Link up to gain new followers on GFC or bloglovin'!

Promote this blog hop by putting the button on your page, or throwing a shout out at the end of your post today or tomorrow. The more link ups we have the more our blogs will grow! Invite a friend, tweet it, or let your Facebook friends know! :)

Make sure to follow the hosts and co-hosts!

Have fun and meet some friends!
Lauren from Marked By Grace
Jessica from Blissfully Miller

Lena from Lena B, Actually
Nicole and Sara from Simply Happenstance
Rachel from Brachel Boulevard