Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why be Zealous?

After typing that title, I definitely said (in my head) "why so serious?" like the Joker from Batman. Oh Heath Ledger-you are missed. Which actually segueys quite nicely into what I actually wanted to talk about! Good job, brain!

Yesterday morning, at 7:50, a gunshot was heard through the hallways of Stillwater Junior High (8th and 9th graders). A 13-year-old boy, Cade Poulos, killed himself in the middle of his school, witnessed by many of his classmates. 

As far as I know, there hasn't been a note found or anything like that, but I think it's still safe to say that this boy needed love. That's one of the main things I see in living zealously. It's not about being happy all the time, but knowing that there's hope when things look bleak and to be joyful in the fact that Jesus died to let you experience those feelings of despair. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full," John 10:10. "To the full" doesn't mean getting every little thing you ask for or living luxuriously-it's using the physical body you have to feel every emotion possible and experience all the things you can on this earth, and finding great joy in that. In this joy, you show people the love of Christ-his perfect, unfailing, unconditional love. You prove that even in the worst of times, you have something greater-you are not of this world because you are of the spirit. That can provide such hope to people who need it.

A facebook page was made to remember and honor Cade's life, and in reading it, I saw that a couple people did say that he took the easy/coward's way out. The truth is, when you feel despair, if you have no faith to fall back on, death definitely can feel like the only way out of whatever situation you are facing. The fact that this child felt so downhearted that he couldn't see the light anywhere just tells me that a lot more people need to be more eager in experiencing life to the full and sharing that idea with others. Find the silver lining. Look for the lesson your hardship can teach you. Love each other. Be kind. Share life. To the full. 

That's my challenge for you in the next few days/weeks/months. The holiday season seems like a perfect time for this, no? Even as the seasons change from bright and green spring and summer, to the colder, darker fall and winter, be a light. Bring warmth with you everywhere in the form of joy because He is sufficient and He makes you enough and He loves you even when you think that no one could. Take that and use it to give you strength to fully experience the abundant opportunities you have in your short time here.


P.S. I didn't know until finding those articles to show you just now that he was dressed up as Two Face from Batman for a spirit week the school was having. That makes my comment at the beginning of this post kind of creepy. I'm not enjoying that I unknowingly did that. Weird. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Love, Texas

As you read this blog/as I post more and more, you'll come to realize that I am a huge fan of my homestate. I have loved Texas ever since I knew about states and countries. And I loved it even more when I learned about how awesome of a state it is and that we have a reason to be proud. We can still secede from the US, we can fly our flag at the same height as the US flag, and if we want to, we can become 5 separate states! None of those things are really exciting or logical to be proud of, but the fact that we are the only state to have any of those rights is pretty cool.

Photo from here
Because of my affection for this great state, it comes as no surprise that I was excited to be back in Texas for a weekend. While I go to Oklahoma State University in north central Oklahoma, my boyfriend attends Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. I'm in a different state than my hometown, but it takes me less time to get there than it takes Boyfriend to get to or from school-because Texas is that big (awesome!). Anyway, I got to come visit him this weekend to see my two loves-Texas and Boyfriend :]

Senior year homecoming; best friends :]
Tech started a week after I started school for the semester, so Boyfriend drove his own car to OSU with me to finish moving me in and help get me settled for the year. Because it had been four weeks since we'd last seen each other in person and he was the last one to drive to see me, I made the six-hour trek to Lubbock last Thursday. The plan had originally been for me to come on Friday, but Boyfriend had gotten a sinus infection and sounded absolutely pitiful when we texted and facetimed. I felt really bad for him, so I changed my plans, contacted one of his roommates, and surprised him by coming a day early :] He was so in shock that I was here that he kept just touching my hand or my arm for the first couple of hours to make sure I was real. It was so sweet and made me feel appreciated for the surprise.
This is Oklahoma; who knew it could be pretty, too?
I missed Texas, and loved seeing the sun setting on my drive west. I even got to be surprised by how beautiful Oklahoma can be also! I was telling a friend that because all I ever see of OK is what you see from I-35 and what you see from 51 on the way to Tulsa, so it isn't anything impressive/different from what I see in Dallas. Going the other way shows you so much more. It was really pretty and the drive didn't seem nearly as long because I had something interesting to look at.
At my apartment in Stillwater
Since I've been here, I've met all of Boyfriend's roommates, who are all wonderful; met a couple other of his good friends, who are also awesome; and enjoyed some much needed quality time in person with my love. We've mostly been chilling on the couch with the orange blanket I mailed him a few weeks ago, taking walks to the little market up the street, and watching movies and sports with his friends. It's just what we needed to continue on the long-distance thing without going crazy, though craziness may ensue tomorrow when I have to get in my car and drive back to Stilly. We're just not going to think about that right now.

Photo by Raychel Yearsley, 2007
What did you do this weekend? I hope it was stellar :]

Photo from here

PS; I'm working on not posting so sporadically and am hoping that that makes my posts more thought out and less rough-draft-ish. Rereading this, it doesn't really even make a lot of sense at first, and that will change asap. I just get into a mood where I'm like "I have to post right now!" and then I don't write as well because I'm just trying to get it out on paper the screen before I lose my train of thought.
Anyway, enjoy your Sunday! Remember to give your loved ones a hug because I don't always get to do that with mine. :]

Friday, September 14, 2012


I had such a rough week. It was my first time observing my first client in the speech clinic on campus (I really got an adult? :[  ). It was my first week babysitting my pastor's daughter (after an already long day). I had an anxiety attack that lasted from about 7pm one night until after 2pm the next afternoon. I had my first two midterms of the semester (in two of the hardest classes of my major). It was trying and tiring. After all that, I also have my GRE in 3 days. Excuse me, what? A test that could navigate my future for me and it's on a Monday, at 8:30 in the morning, the week after the toughest week I've had in months? Ugh.

But I feel so blessed here at the end of these exhausting few days. I signed up for a mentorship program through ASHA (the American Speech-Language Hearing Association which certifies speech pathologists and audiologists). I got a card from a family I met from the time I spent in Colorado at Young Life's Trail West. And today, I got to spend time with my wonderful phamily from Sigma Phi Lambda, a Christian sorority on many campuses across the country.

Even as a senior, I still get asked how a girl from the city ended up in little Stillwater, OK and I tell them it was because of my major and because I got in on my SAT scores alone, but I know that it's because I was supposed to be here. I have been so blessed by the relationships God has put into my life since coming here and from the opportunities I've gotten that I may not have had elsewhere. I can't imagine for a moment what my college career would have been like without my littles, Laura and Karrah. They have so much wisdom and are such bright lights to everyone around them. Even on their worst days, they make me smile. They know how to be mama hens when I need one, but they also know that they can come to me for the same. Spending time with them, and the other girls in my phamily, always makes me happier and helps me to realize that there is so much joy in the world, and I've been so blessed to experience it with such awesome people. I can't wait to welcome a new baby lamb to our group this weekend and have a year to make memories with her, too!

My encouragement for you today is to go and look for the joy out there! Look at all you've been blessed with and know that it's because of the trials you've suffered-not in spite of them.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hello, my name is. . .

Lauren! From  PS I Craft :]
By making PSIC, I thought I was going to start crafting more because I'd want to post what I made, but that's not what happened. I never could come up with anything cool to post, and then I'd just feel bad for having it, but not posting. It's not as gratifying for me to make something because I need to post. I love having the ability to want to make something and just dive in and go for it, without having to think about the steps I'm taking or finding a background for pictures.
Anyway, I've realized that while I'm in school, I'm not going to be able to craft very much. Plus I really don't think I'm that great at it-and won't have the time to practice until I don't have homework due and tests to study for.
I think that when you have a blog, or any public space to express yourself, you need to be passionate about it/your message, or it won't be honest. One of my biggest passions is just to share life with people; I can't do that properly if I'm worried about making sure I have all the steps of a craft photographed and that everything is perfect for publication. Life doesn't have to be perfect, it can be hard, or easy, happy or sad or angry, stressful, or carefree-and that's why it's so perfect to write about. I believe wholeheartedly that we were put on this earth to experience it to the fullest, so I attend life eagerly and look forward to feeling every part of life-the happy, sad, and angry, the stress and the ease. I cry when I need to, sometimes when I don't; I laugh when it's called for, and often when it's not. I'm excited to try new things, and shake it off when I don't enjoy them, even though I really wanted to. I know that every cloud has a silver lining, and that within each hard shell, there's a pearl to make it beautiful. So that's why I'm here-to share all of that with you.
"She attended life with her accustomed zeal."
Thanks Curly Girl for the title of my blog :]