My Metaphors.

Okay ya’ll, I have become so fond of driving… something about being alone, 
just me & good music 
creates the absolute perfect environment to think.

I almost passed Starkville today, just because I wanted to stay in the car!
This is McKenzie. We’ve been thinking together since November 2010!

 Here’s what I came up with today… 

Now don’t judge me (you don’t even have to agree!)… 
But, I’ve found myself lately being a 
VCR. 
(or wanting to be)
You know, the 90s contraption that has seemed to vanish from existence? 
The one where you insert a tape & press play, stop, rewind, fast forward, even pause. 
All we see now are these new-fangled 
(is that even a word?) 
DVD players and Bluray where you insert a disc and pretty much get one choice. 
No need to rewind, it starts at the beginning every time. 
And will play until the end unless a remote intercedes. 
I am the DVD player, 
my life the DVD (already decided ahead of time)
my God is the remote. 

He planned a life for me since before I was even a thought in the minds of these crazy two… 
(So young and in love- I don’t think they knew what they were getting into)
Thanks for everything, Mom & Dad


And He has complete control over me.

Lately in my life, I haven’t been content with the here & now. 
I want to fast forward to a career, a classroom, owning a house. 
Or I want to rewind to those 
stress free, 
joyous, 
jump roping days. 
Pause, well, not my button of choice. Because I rarely live in the present.



I am learning to be content with simply the DVD player, my life as a DVD, and the Lord of Lords holding the remote. He will make every move necessary, for He is good.

Oh God, show us all when to pause and be still, when to push forward for Your causes, when to stop and when to play on. Make us relinquish this control we feel we have as humans. We are nothing without You. 

Oh so thankful to be Washed By the Water
God is merciful, and just.


Living and learning

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2 years in a row.

Something has surprised me about my blogging so far. The “most read” posts are about Mitchell & I. Maybe my readers are extremely love sick, or maybe M is just better than I ever asked for. (I apologize ahead of time for the cheesy-ness. It’s my specialty… And here we are less than 12 hours from the most lovey dovey day of the year, forgive me.)

Mitchell & Lauren, Fall 2010
The Best bestfriends a girl could dream of!

February 14, 2011, I was in some sort of dilemma, state of being unsettled, etc etc etc.
The morning started out pretty lonely… I hosted on Collierville AM where I wore a blue and green dress for the whole school to see. Each Valentines at CHS, we have “stoplight day” where the students wear red for “taken,” yellow for “talking,” and green for “single.” Now, if we are being completely honest, I wasn’t single. I was in fact “talking.” This where it gets hard to explain…. Mitchell (who I fell in love with in December and ended things with later in the month) was my best friend. We could hardly be found without the other by our side. But there was still another person I was spending time with. This was on the weekend, because he was in college and rarely home… And he hardly knew of Mitchell as anything more than my best friend who called/texted constantly.

At about 10:15 a.m. on Valentines Day, I sat in class with my close friend, Jessica. I was going on and on about not hearing from let’s call him “Mr. Unnameable”… yet, Mitchell had been communicating with me all day, as usual, like I loved 🙂 I said, half jokingly, to Jess, “Whoever gets to me with a dozen roses first, wins.”

2:00 came, time to dismiss, no Valentines for me. I went about my day, setting off to Fresh Market, the place of the best & cheapest flowers! Little did I know, someone else was also purchasing V-day paraphernalia…
I was at Fresh Market buying sunflowers for my other best friend, Lauren. Because “Every girl deserves flowers on Valentines”. She was, along with me, lovesick. She and Skiler were “off again” at the time and we planned to spend the evening watching “The Bachelor”, wallowing in self pity, and nursing our wounds 😉

After purchasing flowers & a card for Mitchell (now that I think back on it, I am unsure why I bought the card at the time. M was headed to soccer practice and had no plans of seeing me on that day… God had different plans, and oh was I glad!!), I headed to All American Swim where Lauren was working to deliver a little surprise happy. (Yes, M ruined my surprise for Lauren by surprising me!!) She rushed me to the back as soon as I got there and I saw 3 things.

1. A dozen roses
2. A box of chocolates
3. A handwritten letter

Before any thoughts at all could rush through my brain, I bawled. I knew Mitchell had done this and I knew then that I never should have let myself get scared in December. I loved him.
And I still do. More today than yesterday, but less than tomorrow.
I am oh so thankful that I get to have the same Valentine two years in a row!


I hope you guys enjoy these pieces of our story, and build yours tomorrow (& everyday) too!

Love for Love.

When talking to my Dad a few weeks ago, we determined something. Not that it hasn’t been determined by anyone else before, but to us it was somewhat of an epiphany. We realized something about our human nature.
My (our) sweet dog, Pheobe Gabrielle, passed away December 28, 2011. To say she was loved is an understatement. I’d dare to say our love was one of the deepest I’ve ever felt. And the love between she and dad dug even deeper. If you don’t know her, this may sound silly. But she was more than a dog to us. 
Pheobe was “the only sister I ever had” and “the best girl in the world” and we reminded her of these things daily, if not hourly. She was a friend, and a confidant. A singer, even.. She never told my secrets I sneakily whispered in her ears when no one was looking. She caught every tear from every heart break throughout my middle school and high school years. I miss her & I couldn’t be more thankful for those times. 

 I love you baby.
 Oh the way she put up with the cats. What a doll. Marley needs lessons.
The world’s greatest foot warmer.

But what Dad and I talked about was the way you can’t cure heart break with new shoes. Or a chocolate craving with a banana. A popsicle would never work for a broken leg (unless you’re age 5;)
After we lost Pheobe, our hearts were reaching for that same kind of love she gave us for 9 fulfilling years.. That’s when Mom and Dad found Marley… (or nameless puppy for the first about 2 weeks… we couldn’t agree on a name!!)

Welcome Home baby girl. Phe would’ve adored you & taken you in as her own
I quote: “I think she wants an iPhone” …… -Michelle Shaul
 Mitchell & Marley Jane. They’re buddies to say the least.
She spends over 50% of her time with her heels over her head.

The rest, I’d say, is history. That little stinker brings shine to our eyes & a jump in our steps (mostly Mom’s as she lunges to keep potty time from happening on her oriental rugs!) We can’t get enough of her.


We needed the love of a dog.. A dog like our girl. Marley hides her nose in warm spots the same way Pheobe did. She hates getting her nails clipped just like our best girl.
The other day as I goofily sang to Marley “You’re the best girl in the world!” I thought, No, Pheobe is. Don’t tell Marley she is… But then I knew, Pheobe’s no longer in this grief stricken world. She’s in Heaven. And it took a 3 year olds innocent words to remind me of that. (Thanks Knox!!)
God bless these 2 sweet girls who were placed in this crazy thing we call a family.


  I’m sorry for such a long post… but sometimes all my heart needs is a good blog post.
Thanks for reading. Really. 
Love, 

Real.

A question has arose in my mind multiple times during this unique time in my life. I am growing up, grinding through my freshman year of college, and trying to figure out who I am. As me. 
As a woman, I think it is common, almost unavoidable, to have jealousy (and lots of it!). So often I am found wanting to be like someone else… Sometimes, this is great. I love having Godly women to admire and look up to. But sometimes, it becomes irrational. I need to be me, not Jennifer Aniston. I need to workout like me, not Kelly Ripa. I need to worship God like me, not Lysa TerKeurst. 
It’s a journey, thats for sure. 
A curvaceous one. 
But I’m becoming more Real. (and I love and find peace in that.)
It’s a spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental thing for me
I’m beginning to see the differences in the things I truly love and yearn for and the things I do/participate in/etc because I saw someone else or anxiously flipped to the beautifully photoshopped images in Glamour while waiting in line at Kroger.


“What is REAL?” asked the Velveteen Rabbit one day… “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”


                                                     “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. 

It’s a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 

When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.
Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand… 
once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.” 
-Margery Williams Bianco, The Velveteen Rabbit




 Has this ever felt like a struggle to you?
Thanks for hearing my heart, loving me, & watching me grow.