a directed heart

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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.




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!


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. :)


my first sewing project!

Check it out!

This is my first makeup bag/change purse that I made FROM SCRATCH (or ever, really). This project is a result of my 20 while I’m 20 list (#5)… I decided to embrace my desire to be creative! I’m really proud of how it turned out… my next project will be a messenger style bag, or maybe a quilt… we’ll see how far hand sewing can get me.

Before I did much work–you can see all my supplies:)

The finished product! I didn’t take any pictures of the process because I did nearly all the sewing in a van on my way to Pennsylvania last weekend, but for my next projects I’ll be sure to take pictures throughout the process.

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[twenty things for my twentieth year]

It’s a new decade!!:).


20 while I’m 20:

1. Build a kite.

2. Learn to play chess.

3. Be a consistent member of the “8 o’clock club.” (wondering what this is? go here)

4. Learn to play golf.

5. Embrace my desire to be creative and actually grow in my artistic abilities (painting, poetry, jewelry-making, music, new crafts, etc.)

6. Learn to change a tire.

7. Shoot a real gun.

8. Stick with my commitments. I’m trying to eliminate my flaky-ness. (maybe “don’t over-commit myself” should go here, too. gotta set myself up for success.)

9. Go camping.

10. Study prayer in the Bible.

11. Keep up with this blog.

12. Go to at least 1 (of each) play, musical, orchestra concert, ballet, fun concert, and something else creative/random.

13. Finish at least 10 books, not for school.

14. Delete and stay off Facebook (a step toward #17).

15. Make a budget and STICK TO IT. Come on, self control.

16. Write an encouraging note/letter/email (texts don’t count) to at least one of my friends every day.

17. Stop comparing myself to other people. Remember who I am as a daughter of the Lord and run to Jesus for my worth and comfort. Be defined by who I am as a new creation in Christ, not who I appear to be on the outside or who others perceive me to be.

18. Try to have more of a regular sleep schedule…. (will help #3).

19. Love my family well: make more of an effort to stay connected despite the distance and care for them, pray for them, and encourage them.

20. Go to class. (skipping is only allowed if I’m out of town or extremely sick…. no more skipping class to sunbathe. got it?)

hello, twenty. :)