Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I've been a Young Life leader for about 28 months now. I started off with my current group of girls at the end of their freshman year (end of my freshman year of college). We've shared so many memories together. We've prayed, cried, laughed endlessly, grieved, vented, sang. I cherish those girls so much. I'm so committed to showing them Christ and showing them how much He loves them just for who they are and how He is fully capable and filly willing to heal their brokenness.

After almost 2.5 years, I've come to a point where I feel like I don't know what else I have to give them. I sat with a girl tonight and we chatted about life. I love that my girls now feel comfortable telling me absolutely anything. That is a good place to be. But I feel at such a loss for what direction to take them. A handful of my close girls know Jesus and believe, but I don't know how to teach them to follow Jesus and walk in His light.

I felt at such a loss for words tonight and that has been a common occurrence lately. Maybe that is a good thing because sometimes I have too much opinion to spout off to them. I just see them thinking and feeling all the same crappy things I did in high school and I want them to see the light. To see that they are made for more than that crap. There is so much more than the junk girls tell themselves/believe about themselves in high school.

There has to be learning in here for me somewhere. I want to learn to be a leader.

Monday, August 24, 2009


School starts tomorrow. I always knew I liked school but am beginning to realize actually how much. Kevin told me I could no longer make fun of him for being a nerd. I was so excited about my new student planned that I started filling it out at 9 pm on a Saturday night. I like school. I like to get new pens, pack my backpack, find my classroom, take some notes. I love all of it, deal with it.

I even got excited when the hairdresser next to me was talking about how she was going to take one class a semester at the community college. Just find something she is interested in and take a class. I never thought of that, but thought it was an excellent plan. I can always go to school even after I get a degree and a job!

Beware: excitement only lasts until first assignment is due.

OH! Best part of my day. I was working with one of my boys today. I came out of the bathroom to find him crawling on the ground, meowing, and playfully pawing a ball of yarn. He proceeded to lay under the coffee table and curl up next to his yarn. When I asked him to get up to go onto our next job, he handed me the yarn and said "Lauren's cat yarn!" Not only is he continually making my day, but he is also learning to do imaginary play!!

I'm so excited to use my new trunk bike rack tomorrow. I'm pretty nervous that I'll drop my bike on my head. Kevin and I did a test run wasn't too terrible. Wish me luck. Okay I'm totally rambling. I'll admit it. I'm excited for school!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

please please please don't pass me by

Songs always inspire blog posts....which I now realize is extremely cliche', but whatever.

This semester coming up is going to probably be the toughest of my life academically. I'm usually a huge stressball, but am deciding to take a stand (against myself?). I'm a proponent of list making, okay almost obsessive about list making and planning. I've decided to take one day at a time and not let any day pass me by without enjoying all the small blessings.

The blessing of today = rolling on the ground laughing with one of my kiddos. There's nothing like rolling around, giggling with a little kid. He loves when I poke different parts of his face and make a specific noise with each facial feature (ie; "meep" is his nose). Heaven forbid I forget the sound of one part--he keeps poking it until I come up with the correct sound. Then we both proceed to laugh endlessly. It's the best part of my day every time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I took a trip up to Vancouver to visit my best friend. She got this amazing opportunity to do research at the University of British Columbia. She's one of those people that gets real cool opportunities often just because of who she is and her daring heart to follow her dreams. It's inspiring. I loved Vancouver and welcomed the clouds and rain, (got to wear my new rain jacket) but the best part was spending time with my best. We talked nonstop for nearly 48 hours. Parents, school, friends, love, high school memories, past relationships, future goals, God, and then repeat. We talked about things in circles.

It's unbelievable the conclusions you come to when you finally speak thoughts out loud. Things either sound ludicrous as soon as they leave your lips or emotions cement in your mind as you realize that is how you truly feel. It's nice to have someone who you can debate things with and disagree but move on to talk to the next thing. Good conversation is a freeing feeling.

It was interesting to talk about the fact that this time last year I was beginning school in Australia. We talked a lot about all we've learned and gone through within this past year. I realized that a wall has been let down in the past few months that I never let anyone access before.

I love that God set me up in the right place and time to be able to trust and show who I really am so that He can start healing and transforming me. I've been vulnerable, hurt, confused, angry, and impatient. But God works through all of that. I pushed and pulled and kept rebuilding the walls. But when I was finally with someone who was safe, God didn't allow me much time to rebuild because it was all out on the table and I knew that I was going to be okay.

Over the weekend with my best, I realized this year has been a year of change. Many changes. Most of them weren't welcomed. I put up a fight. But now that I've come full circle and a year has passed. I happily welcome the person I've become today.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Small things

One of the greatest lessons I've learned through working with kids with special needs is taking full joy in all the small things. This lesson has now fed into other aspects of my life and I'm learning to be much more thankful and happy with the little things people say or do. I realize I never share the really special moments I have with my kiddos. Here are a few that have made my summer very special:

- I received the first genuine, arms-wrapped-around-you, hug one of my kiddos had ever given.
- Endless giggles from playing peek-a-boo with an aggressive, virtually non-verbal boy
- After Sunday school with one kiddo, he threw a penny into the fountain and wished that Jesus would love him. It was so sweet.
- Hearing that one kid saw the letter G on TV (that I had been trying to get him to identify for weeks) and he said "That's a G! Like Lauren's G!"
- Having one of my kiddos stand at the window of my car smiling at me until I got out or turning over from a nap and hopping right out of bed because he was so excited to play with me.

There's nothing like a kid realizing that he's safe with you. When he reaches for your hand before crossing the street (something you've tried to teach him for months) or has a huge grin on his face while reciting his address (that he has finally memorized). I have some really hard days working with this population of kids. There are times when it shook my entire faith because I didn't understand why kids are allowed to go through struggles like they are in. I never expected to learn more about myself than I am actually teaching my kiddos. When I stop and think about the smile each kid has on his face when he completes a task that has been slow going, all the frustrating days become more than worth it.