a directed heart

a glimpse inside


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Looking at the little things

So far this week has sent me spiraling down the stress tunnel.

I’ve been straining to resist spending every waking second planning out the rest of my waking seconds: when I’m going to catch up on film & tv and old testament images of God, when I’m going to take my psych test, when I’m working, when I get to sleep, when I’m going to start these papers, when I’m going to talk to so and so & so and so and when I’m going to see Jacob. Oh yeah, and when I’m going to read my Bible?

It’s been a long week. But, there have been many, many redeeming moments that I don’t want to look over.

1: my parents visited this weekend. Jacob got the flu (not one of the redeeming moments I’m listing), so it was stinky that he couldn’t spend any time with them. Our plans were very much changed because of his sickness, but it was nice to see my parents and hang out.

2: Jacob and I worked on Valentine’s Day, so we celebrated Monday (we got 2 pretzels and 2 drinks from Auntie Anne’s for $6! Tell me that’s a deal!) and went to lunch on Tuesday. It was so fun to just enjoy each other!! I’m so thankful for moments when we get to forget about work and school and invest in each other. We had 2 great Valentine’s dates:)

3: Someone left this awesome tip for me Wednesday night at Firehouse

4: I found the NICEST note from one of my residents in my Valentine’s bag on my door. Talk about some seriously uplifting words! I needed that. Speaking of those bags, they were pretty much a hit. It was super fun to receive valentines from all the girls on my hall! Jacob even got a few in there, too, ha!

5: Jacob’s efforts to reach out to people/things that are important to me. Thank you, Jake, for loving me and trying to love what I love.

6: Standing in the middle of chapel yesterday, surrounded by a small part of the body of Christ singing

“Jesus paid it all,
All to him I owe,
Sin had left a crimson stain–
He washed it white as snow.”

I just closed my eyes and let the chorus of God’s people serenade my heart.

7: Hearing girls exclaim, “Chocolate!!!!” when they returned to their rooms after room inspections. Good idea, Ally :)


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21 for my 21st

Well, it’s another year! I had a WONDERFUL birthday yesterday, thanks to Jacob!:) Thanks for making me feel so loved and cared about… you are so so special to me. :)

I started making yearly lists for my birthday last year and it turned out to be a really fun thing. I went camping, started sewing, played disc golf, built a kite, and read lots of great books! Hopefully this year will be just as exciting and filled with new things. I’ve already got a jump start on learning to play chess (carried over from last year’s list), since Jacob got me a chess set for my birthday!

Anyway, here is this year’s list:

1. Go without chocolate. (Yes, for the entire year. Developing self control/discipline/also just enjoying a serious challenge)

2. Get married!! (Date set: June 16!)

3. Pray for my marriage with Jacob every day.

4. Finish the Bible-in-a-year plan that I started in December 2011.

5. Finish the quilt I started last August. I’m about halfway finished at this point… it’s only taken me about a year to get this far ;).

6. Read 11 (hopefully) good books.

7. Learn to crochet.

8. Play guitar more often.

9. Exercise at least 4 days a week, every week.

10. Work on memorizing Scripture. 

11. Set aside and protect my Sabbath day every week.

12. Grow in looking into MYSELF to see my own sin rather than pointing my finger elsewhere.  Grow in repentance.

13. Learn something about gardens and flowers.

14. Stop complaining. Be quick to encourage, much slower to be negative.

15. Pursue ministry intentionally.

16. Get into a regular sleep/awake schedule in order to make rest a priority and give my body a routine. (Bed 11:30, 8am wake up.. or something along that line)

17. Write more.

18.  Take my new bike out and ride ride ride!!!

Goals that have carried over from last year’s list:

19. Learn to play chess

20. Learn to change a tire.

21. Shoot a real gun.

 


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2011 in a large nutshell

January: I turned 20! Some of my friends from OH surprised me and came to visit. They coordinated with Jacob to distract me and keep me busy all night until they arrived and I was so surprised!

February: My mom came to visit for Family weekend and met Jacob’s family for the first time! Jacob, Teresa (his mom), my mom, and I all went to see Milligan’s production of Treasure Island. I traveled to PCTC (Pennsylvania Christian Teen Convention) with Milligan at the end of the month and made my first-ever sewing project in the van on the way there.

March: Lauren McInturff traveled home with me for spring break, Jacob and I visited Asheville one Saturday, and Redeemer moved into the King Center building in downtown JC. I left at the end of the month to travel to Mountain Christian Church to speak at a fundraising dinner for Milligan.

April: The whole campus celebrated Wonderful Wednesday (a surprise day with no class and tons of entertainment) and Jacob traveled to OH with me for Easter break!

May: I kicked off the start of summer break by heading to Lakeland, FL with Mosby. We relaxed, hung out by the pool, and enjoyed some rest and good books!

After vacation with Mosby, I got to hang out with great friends in Ohio and celebrate the marriage of Kevin and Jen Martin on May 20.

Jacob helped me build a kite at the end of May… something from my 20 while I’m 20 list. We had a blast and even tried flying it afterwards. There was absolutely ZERO wind, though, so the attempt looked like me running around his backyard with the kite, letting it go, and watching it fall straight to the grass. We did get a lot of great laughs out of it, though.

 June:

I moved in with a family from church for the summer and started waitressing at Firehouse Restaurant in June.

My parents and I traveled to Florida in mid-June for my cousin’s wedding and we stayed for a week to make it a vacation! What a refreshing week with my family. This picture was taken at the Castillo de San Marcos.

Right when I returned, Jacob and I left for vacation with his family at Myrtle Beach. We tried to fly our kite but the wind destroyed it.

Little did I know that Jacob planned to propose while we were at the beach! He asked me on June 30 and I said yes!

July:

Immediately after our vacation at Myrtle Beach, we headed out for a weekend of camping… my first camping excursion (also on my 20 while I’m 20 list)! It looks like I’m doing well in this picture, but we discovered that camping is not really my thing… thank you for taking such great care of me, Jacob:).

Jacob turned 21 in July. He was VERY excited about his present, even though he guessed it because I’m a practical gift-giver and he is just plain smart:)

August:

Mom and Dad threw us a surprise engagement party with both of my parents’ sides of the family in August when we visited. My cousin-in-law Lisa made this awesome sign for us!

Jacob and I got a couch in August!

Jacob helped me move everything into my dorm room and even stayed to take down/put up blinds and get the couch situated while I was at training all day (how nice is that??).

I started work as an RA this year. We took staff pictures when we got together for training in early August. All the other students moved in mid-August and I hit the ground running to kick off my junior year. Jacob and I also started our 13-week Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class toward the end of the month.

September: A lot of school happened this month, as well as a couple Res Life programs.

Jacob and I traveled to Knoxville on a whim one Wednesday night to hear Jon Acuff (the author of Stuff Christians Like and Quitter) speak. It was funny, forming, and a great adventure for us:).

October: My parents celebrated their 25th anniversary!

Jacob and I traveled to OH for a wedding in late October. On the way home we met Meg and Abbie at Starbucks for some quick hang time. One of the few times this year I got to spend time with those girls.

Sarah came to visit Milligan for the first time in late October… it was such a treat to spend some encouraging time with that girl.

Sarah visited during Homecoming weekend, so she got the full Milligan experience, to say the least. This picture is from the Homecoming parade… Milligan’s new president Bill Greer and his wife Edwina are pictured above.

I had the honor of speaking at President Bill Greer’s Inauguration Dinner later that week, and it was so fun to get all dressed up with Jacob! We both had to buy some new clothes, but it was a great excuse to have a fancy date!!

November: My brother Nick turned 18 this month and Jacob and I started meeting with the Magnesses for premarital counseling! We are very excited to continue learning from them and preparing for our marriage!

 After a rough day at school one week, Jacob treated me to Starbucks! This is a notable event because Jacob hates coffee… and did you notice there are two in this picture??? He got himself one because he said he’s trying to like and appreciate what I like and appreciate (Caramel Brulee Latte in this case)…. I’m not sure it worked, but I sure thought it was sweet!

December: Christmas party after Christmas party! Jacob and I went to the Chickfila Christmas party and hung out with his coworkers for a couple hours the first Sunday in December.

And I celebrated Christmas with my fellow Hart RA’s with a crafty Christmas exchange!

Jacob and I visited Bristol’s famous Motor Speedway in Lights for the first time together (my first time ever)! It was a blast and was definitely worth $10.

And after lots of papers and finals, Jacob and I traveled home for some Austin family time over Christmas break. He stayed for a few days at the beginning and the end of break and I stayed for about 2 weeks. That time was consumed with catching up with family and making wedding plans! Woo hoo!

Happy New Year Everyone!


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kite making 101

My really nice boyfriend, Jacob, and I have been making a kite over the past week and a half! He surprised me last Saturday and took me out to buy supplies so I can check it off my 20-while-I’m-20 list:). What a great man, right??:)

Here are some pictures of the process….

Part 1: The Kite Frame

Here are most of our supplies... And an ice cold diet coke to top it off:). Couldn't leave that important ingredient out of the picture:).

Jacob measuring out the sticks so we can cut them appropriately.



:)

Time to attach the sticks and form the kite frame!

Our kite frame!!

Part 1 complete.

Part 2: The pretty cover!! Jacob went into work for the afternoon, so while he worked, I set to work on making our kite unique a beautiful creation:).

Ladies, does this material look familiar to any of you??? I made this kite cover from an old skirt! I found a hole in it when I was moving out of school, so instead of throwing it away, I saved it to use for crafts later! Came in handy. I cut it up and sewed it together to make our kite cover!

Well, between kite-making days, I broke the kite. So Jacob saved the day and fixed it with some duct tape:).

I bought a clear rain poncho from Walmart to sew to the fabric to give the kite more durability.

I pinned the fabric to the poncho, cut the extra off, and sewed it together! The kite cover is ready to be folded over and taped!!

Here's our kite folded over and sewed together! We tried using tape to attach the cover to the frame, but it didn't seem to hold. We decided sewing the fabric around the frame would probably work better, so that's what we did! We also added the tail here! And then Jacob trimmed off the extra poncho fabric to make the kite look nicer (not pictured).

And I broke the kite again:(. This is what happened when I excitedly ripped the tape off, thinking we were finally finished. So I sewed up the injured area... hopefully this won't affect the kite's flying abilities.

And here's the last picture!!! Our finished kite, complete with a tail and flying string!!

We also attempted flying it today. However, there was literally zero wind, so the attempt mostly consisted of me running up a hill, letting go of the kite, and it falling straight to the ground over and over again… a funny sight, I’m sure. So we’re waiting for a windy day to test her out for real!


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be the molded.

I just started reading Radical by David Platt. To be honest, I’m kind of tired of reading Christian books. I feel like I’m getting the same message over and over again… so needless to say, my hopes weren’t that high when I started this one.

But, I’m only on page 12, and he’s got a pretty good point already. So good, that I want to share it with you. So bear with me, and keep reading. This is a long quote, but it’s worth your time. Practice some patience. :).

Platt writes, “Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of these eager followers of Jesus in the first century. What if I were the potential disciple being told to drop my nets? What if you were the man whom Jesus told to not even say good-bye to his family [Luke 9:61-62]? What if we were told to hate our families and give up everything we had in order to follow Jesus [Luke 14:26, 33]?
This is where we come face to face with a dangerous reality. We do have to give up everything we have to follow Jesus. We do have to love him in a way that makes our closest relationships in this world look like hate. And it is entirely possible that he will tell us to sell everything we have and give it to the poor.
But we don’t want to believe it. We are afraid of what it might mean for our lives. So we rationalize these passages away. ‘Jesus wouldn’t really tell us not to bury our father or say good-bye to our family. Jesus didn’t literally mean to sell all we have and give it to the poor. What Jesus really meant was…’
And this is where we need to pause. Because we are starting to redefine Christianity. We are giving in to the dangerous temptation to take the Jesus of the Bible and twist him into a version of Jesus we are more comfortable with.
A nice, middle-class, American Jesus. A Jesus who doesn’t mind materialism and who would never call us to give away everything we have. A Jesus who would not expect us to forsake our closest relationships so that he receives all our affection. A Jesus who is fine with nominal devotion that does not infringe on our comforts, because, after all, he loves us just the way we are. A Jesus who wants us to be balanced, who wants us to avoid dangerous extremes, and who, for that matter, wants us to avoid danger altogether. A Jesus who brings us comfort and prosperity as we live out our Christian spin on the American dream.

But do you and I realize what we are doing at this point? We are molding Jesus into our image. He is beginning to look a lot like us because, after all, that is whom we are most comfortable with. And the danger now is that when we gather in our church buildings to sing and lift up our hands in worship, we may not actually be worshiping the Jesus of the Bible. Instead we may be worshiping ourselves” (pp. 12-13).

Whew…. heart check, anybody??

Father, wipe this mentality away from my heart and my mind! May I be molded into your Son’s image, rather than attempting to mold him into my own. Give me a mentality of holding Scripture above my life, of living under your authority. I want to come to you without preconceived ideas based on my own feelings or entitlements of what you should be like. I want to extract everything I know to be true from Scripture. God, help me to make that separation between truth and lie. You are endlessly worthy of my life’s devotion and praise. ALL praise and glory and honor and power to you, Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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imma imma imma be a skipper no more

I kind of failed #20 on my 20-while-I’m-20 list. (Sorry, Dr. Abner… I really did enjoy your class, but it was at an extremely inconvenient time for me… :/) HOWEVER, I figure since I still have my Fall 2011 semester, I still have half of the year to improve!

Here’s my vision for fall semester (yes, I am planning a little in advance, but I’m trying to get in the right mindset):
1. Go to class, no matter what. When I’m tired, go to class. When I’m hungry, go to class. When I feel pale, go to class. When I don’t like any clothes in my closet, suck it up, settle on something, and go to class.
2. There is NO REASON for being too tired to get up for a 10 am class. So I scheduled all my morning classes for 10 am (except Tuesdays, on which I have an 8am.. it’s good for the eyes to see the sun out at that time on occasion).

To prepare myself for waking up well in the fall, I’m going to start by waking up well in the summer. I’m planning to continue the 8 o’clock club (it’s #3 on my 20wi20 list, but I got the idea from these lovely ladies), although I honestly might move it to 8:30. After all, it is summer, and unless I work a morning shift (and have to get up earlier), I don’t see any problem with an 8:30 rise and shine.

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Proverbs 25:28

Hello, discipline. My name is Lauren. :)