Friday, July 20, 2012

Straight Haired Girl Rambles

First, my Straight Haired Girl is a Beach Girl post had 14 page views. My, Straight Haired Girl is a Christian post had 209. So.... thank you? I'm not really sure how to absorb that. It's thrown me off and I've been struggling on even what to write as a follow up to it. Everything I type sounds kind of silly now. Not really planning on this being a blog about my faith. I feel it's a private matter in the fact that you know i'm a Christian and how I sort of became one and that's all I feel you need to know. I'm not going to shove The Bible down your throat or tell you that you're going to hell. I'm not that kind of girl. You can still call me up to have a drink and I can still tell you a funny story. That Lauren is still alive and well, don't you worry. 

Most of you know that my memory is ridiculous. Ridiculously amazing that is. I can recall dates, times, smells, weather, wardrobe, and food that was ordered without a bit of struggle. My memory and my hair are two favorite things about me. It's okay to have favorite things about yourself. I'm not saying I have the best memory and hair in the world, but i'm saying that those attributes about myself are my favorite. With that being said I've recently started writing it all down. I have a feeling one day I'll lose these gifts. I'll get older and my hair will either turn grey or fall out and my brain won't be as sharp as it once was. So I've taken up doodling, journaling, and all kinds of silly little things to do with my hands in my spare time. I no longer have cable or internet really at my house and it's allowed me to do so many other things then go into zombie mode. Yes, we just went from talking about my favorite things about myself to not having internet. Anyways, I write down my memories now. It's not a diary more like a recap of that day's events...the important ones anyways. 

Due to lack of digital entertainment in my household I now come home and play with Kennedy way more. She can now say Lauren in the way an 18 month old can say Lauren which kind of sounds Chinese. She says, "Ya-yen" she knows when to say, Please, Thank You, and You're Welcome...obviously still in baby talk but still very impressive. I'm so very proud of the little girl she is growing into and feel honored every day to be able to witness her milestones. I only hope to know Baby E & Baby B like I know my K. 

From happy stuff to the sad stuff, it's hitting me more and more that my best friend since 17 is probably going to move at the end of the year. A ton of bricks land on my chest almost daily at the thought and I cannot handle the emotions that come with it. She was married in April and I cried through the entire thing. Before ceremony, during ceremony, and reception. Dana kept looking at me and shaking his head. I was a mess and I'm sure that is only going to be a fraction of how much I'll be crying the day she leaves. You know that person you text when something happens? That first person? She is that person. She is not irrational and I take comfort that after my rant of texts I can join her for a glass of wine a short time after. We feel weird when we go more than 5 days without seeing each other. I honestly do not know how this is going to go down. It won't be pretty though. 

Okay. I'm done rambling.

Just to note my 2 least favorite things about myself:
I wear my emotions on my face, especially the bad ones.
I'm extremely impatient in the majority of things I do. I'm worried I'll never be crafty for this reason. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Straight Haired Girl is a Christian

Today is July 10th, 2012 and a year ago today I was baptized.

I don’t want to mess this up. Seriously, cannot stress that enough. I do not want to mess this post up.

The fact of the mater is a good percentage of people think they know me. They think I’m still the same Lauren I was 3 years ago, 2 years ago, 1 year. Hate to tell ya but I’m not. I am not the same person I was one month ago. I, like most girls, am complicated and change frequently. To worry what you all think of me is exhausting. Honestly, exhausting. This post has weighed on me because I knew I needed to do it but at the same time I didn’t know if I really wanted to for this sole reason . . .

One extremely large and brutal weakness of mine is that I value others’ opinions on what they think of me. Now, I know everyone wants to be liked but this is different.  This has always been a weakness or how I’ve viewed it recently, a sickness of mine. I’ve always wanted to impress, to be loved, and to be shown off. I have wanted to be valued highly by others and even viewed as a necessity. An attitude of . . .

"You need me in your life because . . . I did this for you or I can do this for you. I am an irreplaceable friend, girlfriend, co-worker, daughter, niece, and roommate. You will be lost without me."

Selfish, prideful, and just plain old ugly does not even cover it. Trying to be everything to everyone is exhausting and also extremely prideful in thinking I am THAT meaningful. Also, it’s exhausting trying to please everyone. What if people think I’m a hypocrite because I follow Jesus now? Do they think its copout? Do they think, “Oh, she is a Christian now of course she got a blog.” “Ugh, she is going to be all religious now.” Seriously, these thoughts and words have come through my head and it’s exhausting. EXHAUSTING. I’m never going to be the Lauren you want me to be and I’ve learned that’s okay. I’m going to be the Lauren that I want to be, and the Lauren I want to be is an out of the closet, bible reading, church going, knee praying Christian. So let’s talk about why and how I am where I am (The answer is Jesus but read anyway).

I have a friend. . . a dear, sweet, beautiful friend that I love. We did not always get along though. We played nice in high school for the most part, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized my hostility towards her was because I just didn’t get her. Haters gonna hate and I was full time hatin’. She frustrated me so easily with her bluntness, ridiculously cute outfits, and her ability to get the attention of the entire room without even putting any sort of effort into it. I couldn’t put my finger on it but something beyond the external also frustrated me. I’ve known her for years but from a distance so what was this thing? She was telling my friends and I a story one night when it hit me. What I was going through in life she had already been through. She survived. Survived is not the word I want to use but I mean it’s the only one coming to my head right now. (Again, paranoid about messing this up.) People still loved her for her. They didn’t question her. They accepted the new version of her. I didn’t think that her story would be an option for me. I was looking at the life she was currently living and thought, “I’ll never feel that way. I’ll never be able to give over my life like that. I like the way my life is now. I’m happy.” Pshhh. I thought I was happy & fulfilled? I’m such a silly girl sometimes. See, the thing is she was a Christian. She was giving life into others or maybe she always was and I was just noticing for the first time. I never wanted to go out of my way to be friends with this girl but now, two years later, we’re on the level of me meeting her during my hour lunch break from work. My one-hour lunch turned into two. Easily. I could have stayed there and talked to her all afternoon if that was an option. I have realized, and it was reiterated to me during our lunch that I could be like her.

I was going to church and felt moved every now and then but not in a “come to Jesus” way for at least 6 or 8 months. I again had that feeling of,  “I could never be like her.” “I’ll never be the Christian she is because I’m still holding onto sin that I cannot give up.” “I will always be ‘Damaged Lauren.’ I will always be wrapped up in myself, selfish, and that past of mine… whew . . . No one will ever be able to forgive that.”

What did we have a sermon on shortly there after? Oh, that would be about letting go of your past! God does that to me a lot. I have a feeling about something, I show up, sit down, and boom!

“Oh, Heyyyy Lauren! How are you? I mean I know how you are but umm… (fake cough)… So since I’m God and I love you and all we’re going to work out that conviction you’re dealing with. Do you have tissues? Of course you don’t. Okay, well you’re going to ugly cry, but it’ll be okay that manly guy in front of you is going to cry too.”

I am not perfect and never will claim to be. I am seriously fallen and flawed in so many ways. I am controlling, impatient, stubborn, and have a bad case of road rage. I have a past that I thought I would never be forgiven for but He did. Undeservingly so. I don’t deserve His grace or His love. I didn’t think I could ever be a Christian. I knew I would fail at that “lifestyle”, but over the year I’ve grown closer to Him by learning more about Him.  I am doing my best to be in His word daily and to follow Him so that I may continue to grow.  I will fall again. I’m 110% sure about that, but God with a mighty hand will pick me up and dust me off and remind me of the cross and what it means. I am forgiven. I am loved. I don’t have to do anything besides confess and repent, because I have claimed Jesus as my Savior.  Jesus already paid the price for whatever sin I commit. He forgave my friend, He forgave me, and I’ve learned to never say never. He’ll show you He can change anyone.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Straight Haired Girl is also a Beach Girl

Some friends said I should post a picture of my straight hair, but as of late my straight haired pics have not held up to my standards. Today at the beach I was taking some pics of the scenery around me and then turned the camera on myself. Being my worst critic I think it turned out just fine. 

Sulivan's Island Station 16 & me.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Straight Haired Girl is on Vacation!

Man, oh man am I happy to be on vacation. My definition of vacation by the way is four days off from work to stay in Charleston and do absolutely nothing. Today is the 4th of July and so far I’ve eaten breakfast, showered, brushed my teeth and for a good solid hour I pinned some stuff on pinterest. This makes me incredibly happy and I should also mention thankful to live in a country where that is perfectly acceptable. I’ll be celebrating my country’s independence in a few short hours with fireworks and friends, but for now I’ll let my hair air dry and write a blog post.

I only did one blog post last week due to the fact it was the last week of the quarter. I was in a zone. Unfortunately, blog posts didn’t fit into that zone.  I should mention to you that I work in a corporate environment and I’ll probably feel this way at the end of every quarter. I do love my job though.  

On this vacation I’m going to relax but also do some reorganization of my life. I’m a planner but only when I can sit down and put my full attention towards the task at hand. I don’t like to be distracted, rushed, or I guess imperfect? Eek. I should work on that. If I can’t do it well then I’m probably not going to do it at all. There are things I just want to fit in my life and this time off from work will definitely allow me to do just that. Make a plan.

I’ll let you know that I do want to create a blog plan. Think of times and days when I’ll most likely have some down time and be able to knock out a few posts.  Squeezing blogging into my routine isn’t a huge concern for me. I’ll make time for it because I enjoy it. I need to make time for the things I don’t enjoy as well. Which leads me to the topic of exercise. I really need to be more active. Sitting at a desk for over 8 hours a day is horrible for your health and body.  I have a co-worker that I walk with sometimes after work but I feel I need to be more dedicated with this routine and probably amp it up a bit as well. Goals associated with working out will not be weight or size oriented. I get discouraged very easily and normally don’t do well with those.  At my healthiest I focused more on my time and progression. Example: Do jumping jacks with a stopwatch for as long as possible. Do it again for that amount every day for a week, but next week add 30 seconds on to your time. The following week add a minute. Get the picture? I pushed myself and didn’t focus on the scale but rather my endurance. Pinterest has tons of workouts you can do in your room without joining a gym. Plus there are great apps for workouts too. Do whatever works for you.

The biggest and most important thing I want to fit into my schedule is reading scripture daily. I’m ecstatic with the resources I’ve discovered recently. My two favorites are #Scripturedoodle and  I follow along with a reading plan and devotionals with an online community of women I’ve never met. They are so encouraging and I am so thankful for them. I haven’t been able to do it every day of the week yet but I’m getting there. I’ve failed at reading plans my church has offered. I often get bored with them or lost. The reading plan I’m using now breaks down the scripture and has journal prompts for you to respond. It’s been something I enjoy doing and also want to do it more often. I’ve been working on a post about my faith for over a week now and I just can’t get the wording, my story, or I guess my message across the right way.  It’ll come soon though and needs to. It’s a huge part of my life that I refuse to hide on this blog. I just want to do it well. Hope you all had a good 4th! I’ll post again soon.