a directed heart

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Home Sweet

Jacob and I traveled to Ohio to visit my family for Christmas last weekend. It was a weekend packed with visiting grandmas, aunts, uncles, family friends, and some of my very best friends from high school… and it was much needed.

Although we were exhausted upon arriving back home, I left feeling so refreshed from that time with family and friends.

Good Friends.

Monday was our designated “catch up with friends day,” so we packed in a lot. :) So thankful for these women (and Abbie, who we got to see later in the day and isn’t pictured above!), who carved out some time during their busy lives to spend with us!! We even got to see Sarah’s sweet little sister, Brooke, who hung out with us so patiently for two hours! What a star two-year-old! ;)

Thank you ladies for staying consistent in my life even though we’re states apart. Praising God for you today… those few hours on Monday mean so much to me!

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:22-25).

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My Husband Returns!!!

Well, I just made it through my first few days without Jacob home! He traveled to the North American Christian Convention with two of his friends this week… and boy have I missed him! It was so nice to spend time with some friends this week & it was wonderful to have my mom visit for a few days, but I’ve still been looking forward to Jacob’s return every day. So welcome back, husband! I’m so glad you’re coming home today!!

We’ve been busy setting up our apartment & settling back into life in Johnson City, so I haven’t been a good blogger lately–sorry! Pics of the wedding, preparation, our honeymoon, apartment, and posts about normal life are coming soon!

In 3 days we’ll have been married for a month! Whoop!


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Castillo de San Marcos

We took a break from the sun this evening and drove back to St. Augustine to explore the town. We stopped at a popular attraction, the Castillo de San Marcos, a fort from the 1700’s! It’s actually a national monument and it’s the only existing 17th century fort in America!! Click the link above if you’re interested in learning more:) Here are some pictures from our excursion:

In case you actually want to know what this thing is about...

The fort is so neat!! It looks like a mini-castle; it even has a mote area in the front of it (pictured later).

You can see part of the mote area behind mom and dad.

The entrance into the fort! They give tours of the inside (you even see places where they tortured people!!), but we arrived too late and it was already closed inside. (Note the canons at the top of the fort!)

So we continued exploring the outside.

(The structure pictured above this picture)

The pretty view from the back of the fort.

As much as I anticipated a lack of interest in the history of St. Augustine, I really enjoyed our little tour and would love to go back to see the inside! We’ll see if we make it out there another day this week. Until then, we’ll be at the pool:).


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st. augustine

We started off our family vacation (minus Nick) with a wedding… what a wonderful start, right?!:)

Jenn and her father walking down the aisle.

Husband and wife!

My cousins Jordyn and Jenna:).

Mom and Mamaw:)

Air jamming at the reception!!

It has been a great few days in Florida so far; it’s been wonderful to spend some quality time with my parents and extended family who I don’t see very often. It’s also been great time to relax, rest, and spend some good time meditating. The Lord has been stirring my heart a lot the past few days.. I’m excited for the rest of this week! The wedding was in St. Augustine (the oldest and most historical town in FL), and we’re going back there tonight to explore the town!


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daddy’s little girl

Daddy,

Happy Father’s Day!! We are in Florida today for Jeremy’s wedding, and I am SO SO SO THANKFUL to be spending Father’s day with you:). What a blessing! Dad, I want you to know that I love you so much, and I am so thankful God blessed me with such a wonderful father. Thank you for all the ways you have sacrificed for me… for providing the means to buy and keep a horse for 6 years, for providing all the clothing, food, and gas I could ever need, for sitting and playing guitar while I sing with you for hours, for practicing guitar for hours by yourself so we could perform together, for recording tracks that I could sing with when you weren’t able to perform with me, for making me endless amounts of chocolate chip pancakes, for putting up with the dog you didn’t even want (at first!:)), for sending me to the college I wanted to attend (despite the price), and for letting me grow up, even if that means being a little far away for the time being. Thank you for providing even when I forget to say thank you or show you appreciation.

Daddy, your life is a huge picture of grace to me. Thank you for loving Jesus and loving your family like Jesus loves. I am indebted to you, dad.

This picture was taken about a year ago. Dad and I played at a Marina on Norris Lake while we were on vacation... performing with Dad is one of my favorite things to do:).

This picture was taken yesterday at my cousin's wedding... Mom and Dad are coming up on their 25th wedding anniversary!

Here's to you, Daddy. I am so thankful for you!!


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for the most wonderful mother:

happy mother’s day, mom:).

i’m sorry that i am not sitting next to you to today to celebrate with you… please know that I’m thinking of you and that I am SO thankful for you.

This is my mom:

When my mom loves, she loves strong and she loves well.
She loves.
She loves puzzles,
reading,
winning
(cheating if she has to),
and spider solitaire.

She loves strong.
Strong she loves God,
her husband, her son,
her daughter, and
her dog.

She loves well.
Well she loves her job,
gardening, laughing,
good wedding
cake, and
being chauffeured around town by
one of us kids.

She loves well.
Well she loves me.
She loves me strong and she loves me so well.

Mom,
you have truly been the best mother I could ever ask for. Thank you for teaching me to love other people, to be polite, and how to find a good bargain:). Thank you for bringing me to church, encouraging me to sing, and pushing me to be a leader. Thank you for believing in me no matter what I set my heart on, and thank you for always listening to me. Thank you for taking an interest in anything I do and helping me pursue those dreams. Thank you for letting me make decisions, like going away for college, and letting me grow up.

God, thank you for blessing me with such an incredible woman to live with, learn from, and look up to. Thank you for giving her life through knowing you, and for blessing her with my dad as her husband, who also has new life through you. May the rest of her years be fruitful in her relationship with you, as well as her relationships with Dad, Nick, and me. May you continue to grow her and conform her into your Son’s image. May her desire for you and depth of knowledge of you continue to multiply, and may the gospel be a truth to which she holds tighter and tighter as each year passes. May you become her greatest joy, and may that joy contagiously infect everyone around her. God, thank you so much for my mom!!

Mom, you have been the most influential woman in my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank you for being my mom for the last 20 years, and thank you for becoming my best friend over those years, as well. You are so special to me.

I love you, always.
lauren