Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wiping the dust off this ole' blog of mine.

Oh my word.
 
April y,all. That's the last time I've posted anything on this blog.
 
I haven't felt the need to write or desire to write or post anything. But today, I do. I have tons of stuff inside and just need to let it out.
 
There are two specific important people in my life within the past few of years that have looked cancer straight in the face.
 
Cancer is such a death sentence, I hate it.
 
The first was my mom's husband Larry, who was my dad in every sense of the word, he died of terminal brain cancer in February 2012. It was a quick and aggressive cancer and was told he had a few weeks to live
 
Then we come to yesterday. My grandmother, my mom's mom, has been battling cancer for four years now. She told the doctor yesterday she wanted no more further treatment. She is at the end of the cancer road. My mom and she have a consult with Hospice tonight to get that relationship started and we're going to enjoy the rest of the time we have left with her.
 
Two stories of cancer but one major difference. Our dad faced it with complete peace and rejoiced till the very end until he was face to face with his savior. I can honestly say I have no fear of death after watching him. Absolutely none. It's not the end, but only the beginning. That was the greatest gift he left me.
 
Then you have my grandma who is deathly afraid to die. She knows where she's going but I believe she's just afraid of the process. It breaks my heart when she makes the comment "I wish I wasn't so afraid to die." I pray peace and strength to her heart and spirit every single day. I think there's a part of all of us that holds a little bit of fear of the unknown when it comes to death. I don't think any of us want to die and wish we could stay here forever. But we are not meant for this world. This is just our temporary home and we're just passing through on the way to where we're going. I thank God every day for hope of eternity spent with him. Eternity, it's what it's all about.
 
I wish desperately that cancer wasn't the cause of death for people, especially for the ones we love. But our God is SO much bigger than any cancer. But knowing that Heaven brings a cancer-free life and a body that's healed and free from it. Well, there's a whole lot of peace in that.
 
So if you would, please keep our family in your prayers as we walk this cancer road again with my Grandma. She's a warrior and has fought an amazing fight. She's my hero.
 
Thank you!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sweep her off her feet.


As a single gal, this real resonated with me and thought this was so great. Wanted to share.

 


 

"He who finds a [true] wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." Prov 18:22, AMP
 

Ok single boys and girls, today and tomorrow we are going to focus on you! Specifically, if you’re in your twenties and ready to start thinking about dating and marriage – you have to do it right! Don’t buy into all the pretend love you see in the media or gossip magazines. Relationships, love and marriage are a lot more fun than what you see on TV or in the movies.

Ok guys – here’s what a girl wants. She wants you to sweep her off her feet! All of her life she’s had this crazy dream that she’s Cinderella and one day her Prince Charming would come along and literally sweep her off her feet with the glass slipper. You’d be surprised how easy this is to do! This is not an exhaustive list, but here are a few practical ways to find and pursue the girl of your dreams.

 

Pray and Be Jesus-Focused: If you want to find an awesome Christian girl and experience a relationship that is blessed by God, you better be a Christian. One of the number one things a Christian girl wants is a real, Jesus-loving, praying, Bible-living, genuine Christian guy who walks the talk. Lots of guys call themselves Christian, but they don’t treat women in a way that honors the Lord. Girls are seriously looking for a guy that is strong in the Lord. Girls don’t want to be the spiritual leader of the relationship and the one who has to initiate conversations on godly things – they want a guy who totally gets it and is on the same page in their passionate pursuit of God. First step: Go after God, then go after the girl.

 

Ask Her Out: Guys, you have to take the initiative. Girls are responders; boys are initiators. Sure, you can find the type of girls who will hunt you down like prey; but most Christian women want to be pursued by a pursuer! Notice the passage in Proverbs, “A man who FINDS a wife, FINDS a good thing.” You have to find her! That means you are the hunter. That means you call her. You send the email. You text. You ask her out. The worst that can happen is that she’ll say “No” – and that will be her loss. Second step: Find her and get a date.

 

Be Creative: If you’re trying to win the love of your life, the days of “Let’s just go to dinner and a movie…” have to be shelved. She wants you to put a little more thought into it. Do something fun and different. How about a date at the Zoo? Why not order Chinese take-out and then set up a folding table and chairs in a local boulevard and have your dinner in the middle of traffic? If you want to go to the movies, how about doing a tail-gate party in the parking lot? Sure, set up tent and enjoy some sandwiches and chips before the movie! Plan a Mystery Trip and go to out-of-the-way towns, find the local dive and have dinner; then feed the ducks at a nearby river. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. A drive to see the sunset, a walk through the park, rent a canoe, ride bikes, go visit the elderly in a nursing home, ride the Merry-Go-Round…the list goes on…girls love these things! There are so many ways to spend time together – why settle for something as basic as “dinner and a movie?” Third step: Don’t be predictable or boring.

 

Learn How To Talk: Boys – this may the best piece of advice yet – girls like to talk! They do not enjoy sitting in silence and staring at a TV, a windshield, a candle or the fun couple at the table next to you that seems to be having so much fun talking to one another. Girls like two-way conversations. As much as they want to hear about everything you have done since birth; they would also like you to ask them a question about their lives. That means you are going to have to become an expert at asking her questions about her and learn how to follow it up with another question about her before you start talking about you, again. They also love to talk about God, life and other interesting and intellectually stimulating things – after that, they don’t mind a little chatting about sports. Fourth step: Talk about God, life, intelligent things and her…and after that feel free to talk about sports.

 

Bring Gifts: Girls love gifts! It’s not the price tag; it’s the thought. What does your girl like? Flowers are nice, but it’s even better if the gift is customized for her. Show her you’ve been listening to her likes and dislikes and give her a gift for no reason. If she likes Kit-Kat bars, don’t bring a Snickers bar. If orange is her favorite color, make sure your gift is orange! Wrap the gift. Hide the gift. Plant the gift. There are so many ways to give a gift – so have fun. Fifth step: Gifts always work.

 

Make a Deal: Make a deal to be pure. If you want the Lord’s hand on your relationship, choose to lead the relationship in a way that puts Him first and honors Him and His guidelines. The world tells you that purity is old-school and out of fashion; God tells you that purity is the pathway to the type of relationship the world will drool over. Treat her the way you’d want someone to treat your sister. Respect her. Recently a couple that had just begun dating asked me to be a witness to a contract they had drawn up. The man is an attorney and he wrote up a “legal” contract on their agreement to have a dating relationship that remained pure. I signed the doc and told them I was proud of them for taking the subject of purity so seriously; they told me that they wanted God’s blessing in their relationship and they knew that being held accountable was an important part of it. Sixth step: Keep it pure.

 
 
"Father, I thank You that my Prince Charming is out there. I know You are preparing me just for him. I pray You help him today to take the initiative, and at the right time You will help him sweep me off my feet. In Jesus' Name. Amen."

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wisdom from Audrey.




I saw this and was like whoa.
 
Never looked at it like this, but how true is it though?
 
I feel like sometimes I don't give myself enough credit.
 
It's cool to think that in this world there is no other Lauren Kelly out there. Okay, other people with that name maybe. But I am THE Lauren Kelly, ha... JK! But seriously, no other person has my DNA, my gifts, talents, etc. I have something that only I can offer this world.
 
That's pretty awesome when you think about it.  And if you're reading this, same goes for you too :)
 
Have you ever had a desire, dream, or maybe it's even something as simple as you went on Pinterest and wanted to make a craft but thought to yourself "Nah, everyone else can do that but me" or thought to yourself "That's impossible?"
 
I'm going to admit something right here and now, me and the Kitchen aren't friends. It's sad how little I cook at almost 30 years of age. But you know what, I think it's fear of failing in the kitchen that keeps me from cooking and experimenting in the kitchen and getting myself to love the kitchen and believing that "I'm possible" and that I can cook up a good meal. This might seem insignificant to some, but this is my truth, ha.
 
I think it's that same fear that kept me in only one year of soccer in high school, instead of just doing it for the fun and to be a part of a team. And not realizing that "I'm possible" even if I never scored one goal that year and was by far probably the least athletic one on the team and still to this day surprised I even tried out.
 
It's the same fear that has kept me in court reporting school to this day far longer than I should have ever been there for fear of succeeding (Yes, I believe that you can be afraid of success) and believing that "I'm possible" and that I will be the best darn court reporter there is out there.
 
The examples can go on and on and I'm sure you can insert your own.
 
I think it's easier to focus on all the stuff that makes up the "Impossible" versus all the great stuff that makes up the "I'm possible."
 
Anyone feelin' me?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bloglovin.

You might have heard the word on the street in the blog world is that google reader is shutting down in July. I loved this as a way to keep up with the blogs I read, so I was bummed when I heard this. But also glad at the same time because I was getting frustrated because there was no way to delete old blogs you may not read anymore or old blogs that the blogger may have shut down and is no longer up.
 
BUT, I found a great alternative and wanted to share with you about bloglovin.
 
It's another great and efficient way to keep up with the blogs you love. So I signed myself up and I'm loving it. So don't panic and if you are looking for another alternative other than google reader. Go check out bloglovin. You just might like it!!! (Only downfall is you have to actually go to the blog itself to read the full blog in it's entirety, whereas before you could read the whole blog post in google reader, but the up side is now it's easy to delete blogs as I was mentioning before.)
 
Follow my blog with bloglovin!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sister night with Blake Shelton.


This past weekend Blake Shelton was in Florida to play at the Strawberry Festival down in South Florida on Sunday.
 
Turns out his people contacted a local country music bar in Sanford called the Barn, outside of Orlando, and he wanted to do a surprise FREE concert on Friday night. Um, hello, you will not hear us complain. I live in Sanford, so call this fate if you will. My sister and I were all up on this. Blows my mind that a big name such as Blake Shelton would want to do this, as he never plays bars, but if you're reading this Blake (which the odds of that are like my odds of winning the lotto) THANK YOU!!!!! You made two girls VERY happy!
 
 

We made some friends and this was a great photo bomb, ha!



Well, hellllloooooo handsome. Mr. Blake Shelton everybody.
We pretty much had AMAZING spot!
 
 

 
The only thing better would have been if Miranda Lambert were there.
What a fun, fun night. It was such an intimate setting and such great music and did I mention free? Craziness! The Barn was trying to keep it on the down low but hello this is Blake Shelton!!!! So the radio got wind of it and it just kind of blew up. Can't believe he came to our little ole' town.
 
Come back again anytime, Blake!!!!!
 
 


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Off the radar.

I was reading this blog post from today over at the Living Proof Ministries blog. One sentence that Beth Moore wrote really stuck out to me…She wrote, “Girlfriend, you ARE very much on his radar.”
I thought about that for a minute to let it sink in.
It’s easy for us to think that we’ve somehow dropped off the radar. That whatever we did, whatever we said, whatever we thought, was grounds for God to say “Sorry, because you did x, y, and z we are finished, I’m done with you, you are officially off my radar,” and shut the door.
That is a far cry from the truth.
It was such a gentle reminder for me.
Or you could look at it like this. You have a single girl, such as myself, she longs to find that one, the one person out there in this world that was meant for her.  The one person in this whole world that God said, “This one, that is the one for Lauren.”
Yet, still she waits for him.
 She sees person after person moving on to the next season of their life, marriage, and some even moving on to become mothers.
Yet, still she waits.
She feels like she dropped off the radar. That the attempts of flinging her hands in the air saying, “God, look at me, look at me. I’m over here.” That those were just failed and unsuccessful attempts at best.
Off the radar, just gone. That somehow he sees everybody else but you.
Oh, he sees me. He sees YOU.
Every desire, every dream, it’s not hidden from him.
Whatever you’ve been crying out to God about, every prayer that you lifted up to him, it’s on his radar, oh very much so.
Its hard for me to fathom, yet so beautiful to think, that I don’t get lost in the sea of people in this world he calls his children. He doesn’t play favorites. He doesn’t see Susie over there, but look over at me and turn a blind eye.
His radar, it’s looking right at me.
 
 
And it’s looking at you too.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Throwing away my lenses.

One thing that God has truly been working with me on and dealing in my heart about are the lenses I wear. The only way I know that for a fact is there have been two separate instances recently where people in my own life have addressed this. Can't tell you how many times people have said, "Lauren, why can't you see what I see?"

Hello, Lord.

We all have a set of lenses, and what I mean by lenses is the lenses in which we view ourselves; what we see versus what other people see. Oh my goodness, I’m to the point where I want to break my lenses in half and toss them in the trash. See, the thing is, our lenses are ALWAYS different than others and how they perceive us. We, as humans, and especially women, find it so hard to see the value and worth in ourselves and what others see in us.

The truth of the matter is, with social media these days; it’s so easy to hide behind it. My hope and desire is that what you see on social media is what you would see of me in real life and hope to be authentic. But if I were being truthful, I feel freer behind social media ….. and when it comes to face-to-face social interaction, I hold back. I recognize that, and I HATE it. I’ve realized why that is….. When you step out from behind the devises of social media and really have to put yourself out there, you are required to be more vulnerable and you open yourself up to be judged and rejected.

I hope I’m making some sort of sense here. But I often fail to realize I have some much to offer this world, so much value and worth that I somehow can’t always seem to see in myself. And rather than embracing that, it’s easier to shrink back.

I truly feel like I’m rambling here, but bear with me.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our own light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. You were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within you. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people the permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. “

I think this quote adequately describes what I’m trying to put into words.
 
Lord, help me each day see what you see in this girl. Help me to realize that my worth and value is found in you and you alone. I pray that here on out, each day I will learn to love myself more and more; every part of me. Take every doubt and insecurity and replace it with self-acceptance, appreciation for who you created me to be and that means ALL of me. I’m a child of yours and you love your children and therefore, I will learn to love me despite what I think my flaws might be. Thank you for Lauren, thank you for me.

And if you're reading this and you struggle in this area, I hope your prayer is the same... Just substitute your name :)