I am really looking forward to tonight. Lots of girls, sugar, and carbs. It will be a fun time and I cant wait for 5:00 to get here so I get ready for it! As I was getting myself physched today, I came upon a few memories of 3 girls that have been around for quiet awhile. Mostly since freshman year of High school, with one exception of the caroline/laura combo of 22 years.
Enjoy memory lane.
I dont remember when this was taken, however, as you will see, this is a common "pose" for us.
The Tree house (almost as good as the rooftop)
We look a tad bit different I would say?
One of my favorite pictures. The week before I left for California at my going away party.
I still have it framed.
I LOVE this more than my heart can tell
Can't wait for tonight
Then you have these ladies that will be there tonight too!
I passed by you today. It was a quick glance and the aching of my heart started to yearn for you. Your eyes were focused on the ground ahead as you tried, with all your might, to carry all that belonged to you. As you climbed the hill and put one foot in front of the other I watched you slipping away.
I passed by you again today. You had made it up the hill and not much further after that. I can’t imagine the strength and endurance it must take, yet all I see is the weakness and hurt overcoming all that is you. The bags have become heavier this time and the road doesn’t seem to be taking you anywhere in particular. Just anywhere but here. Your eyes, still cast down to the barren road, have grown dry and calloused. The tears dried up by frustration and strife.
I passed by you a third time. This was my chance. I had to do something. The aching in my heart became the audible prayer that all I wanted to do was help you. There had to be something. I could help you up that hill, I could carry your bags and be that support. But then what? I would have to get back to my job, my day, I would have to get back to my life. Helping you around the corner might help you for a time, but in the long run what does it accomplish? “You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Or teach a man to fish and feed him for life" , the old saying was rattling my brain, as I thought of the different, more effective ways I could help. I knew that it was my job to give you what could eternally sustain you. So I stopped, got water, bread and pb&j. I was planning a lot in my head and was so excited to meet you. I saw you, pulled over and noticed the life that been warn on your face, each line adding new curiosity to the story that was behind it all. Inside all I wanted to do was give you a hug and I almost did.
“Sir, I have something for you. I passed by you 3 times today and couldn’t pass by again without trying to help. I got you water, and some food.”
You didn’t want the food. You didn’t want a hug. You took the water and left without a word.
I watched you continue to walk up the hill, pushing the life that was all you had and my heart began to break. I offered you something more, something that would sustain you and if only you knew the real Living Water and Bread of Life that was awaiting you. I could scream it at you, yell at the top of my lungs how much you need it or throw it at you in disbelief. But all I could do was stand there. Stand there and watch you pass by, not even noticing me. It dawned on me how much you and I are so much alike.
You see, everyday I am seen. I am noticed and pursued by the One who can truly sustain me. He passes by and once again, wonders why I am trying to go uphill all by myself, dragging all my bags with me. I am offered more, I am offered something that will sustain me that I don’t even realize I need or could use. Yet, all I take is what I think I need in the moment.
As you disappeared down the road, I prayed that your eyes would be lifted, your burdens ceased and the realization that you are pursued is made known.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure Her.” Hosea 2:14
I am sitting here, cozy in my favorite over sized sweater, surrounded by Christmas decorations and the cold weather. Today is my day off after months and months of hectic and busy planning for this past Saturday’s big event.Bethlehem Experience was a success, no doubt, but there was lots of learning along the way.
I’ve become hesitant to say certain things in this space and open my heart to the blog world, only because I have come to realize people actually read this thing. I may have a love of people and crowds am socially driven and I feed off of events and excitement. However, the walls are thick and the mortar is strong. Not that it is a terrible quality, but it is a reminder that with all people, no one ever knows the full story. We tend to assume a lot about people based off of our experiences, yet we have to remember our God is the Creator, and everyone has a story.
The past two years, going on three, I have been in a place where I never thought I would be: home. If you have ever had a conversation with me that got past the polite “hey how ya doin?” you would know that, ever since High School, all I ever wanted to do was get the hell out of dodge (or Tallahassee, as it were). My senior year of high school was ending and I had no idea what I was going to do, but I knew I was leaving and it was non-negotiable. I ended up attending Bible College, my life was changed (in a good way), and then two years later I graduated. Then came the question: “What now, God?” All I knew was “home” was not an option.
I had been in and out of Tallahassee for the past two years while going to and from school. However, before I left the first time, I had already checked out. Besides my family and a few close friends, I felt I had nothing there. So I prayed, the option of going to Italy came up and seemed like a good option. In fact, Italy sounded great! I would be an intern at the new Bible college campus, live in Europe and be about as far away from Tallahassee as possible. So I prayed but my mind was made up. After graduation from college I went home for the summer to work and save money and then headed off to Europe from where I would never return! Five months later I was back on a plane headed home with my tail between my legs. I had failed in my plan for ministry. I had failed my post-college plans. I had failed in my plan to escape.
I returned home, had a panic attack in Dillard’s (I still cannot go to the shoe department without feeling uncomfortable) and for the next four months everything was seen and lived in black and white. I had to make myself get out of bed in the morning, make myself eat, make myself fake it—I just got back from living in freakin’ Italy! I was living back at home in my old room, working for the state of Florida and trying to figure out what the hell I was supposed to do next. All I knew was I had to leave. I had to escape what I called the “pit of nothingness” that was my hometown. In my eyes, staying home was a dead-end and I was quickly approaching the wall.I had gotten burned in Italy and was done with anything that had to do with ministry. I told God that, if this was the plan, then I was sitting on the bench.
I don’t recommend anyone follow that line of thinking. You see He knows us. There is a Helper that God has given each of His children that we too often forget about. Once we have decided to partake in the gift of salvation and our lives become sanctified into His, we no longer have the right tosay, “God, I am called to this. God, I am called to that” for our life is no longer our own. I told God, for years, I will not stay in Tallahassee, I refuse to stay here. My prayers became selfish and prideful. “God, I will not do what you have called me to do in my life. I got burned, I got hurt and it sucked. If that is how it is going to be, then I quit.”But something has been ingrained in me, my heart and spirit, for a long time that I cannot ignore, no matter how hard I try. I cannot sit on the sidelines, even if I think I want to.
About a month after I told God to put me on the injured reserved list, I got a call. I got THE call. The church wanted me on staff and I said yes. YES?! Laura Jean Colle the First, what where you thinking?! I had a mild panic attack and then it hit me—God was going to get me where He wanted me whether I liked it or not. So I did it. I figured, “Eh, a year, year and half at the most, then I am high-tailing it outta this place,” —still holding on to my plan. And, believe me, I tried to leave. My constant prayer was, “Lord, give me direction.” But really, what I was praying was “Lord, show me the best way to get out of here.” I had fooled myself into thinking that I was being humble and open to the Lord. Yeah. Right.
So, as I approached my third year of working at the church, living on my own and making car payments, the frustration started to build as God was not answering my prayers. Then, one day, I realized, maybe I should stop praying for direction and pray for contentment.
Popular verses and scripture are popular for a reason—they are true.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.”
Oh, but what follows is the gut wrencher:
“For the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6&7
“Be anxious for nothing”—but that is what I do; It’s what I have always done. I see the next step coming and so, therefore, I know what is next. Graduate high school, go to Bible college, come home, back to school, come home, go to Israel, come home, go back to school, come home, go to Italy, come home…
Come home… then what? I’m still here. But I am young, single and, realistically, nothing is holding me back from being the vagabond that I desire to be. To feed that restless spirit inside and let the itch that can’t seem to be scratched take over. To have adventures beyond what is here. Yet, I am still here. In the place where I refused to be, in the town that has made it hard to breathe sometimes and made me claustrophobic. However, just like a lot of things, it becomes better with time. I still have my doubts, my moments of needed escape, and my thoughts of “is this it, Lord?” I have to remind myself daily, “I’m only 22 years old, I still have a lot of life to live and, even if I am here another three years, that means I am only 25.” I am good, but I would be lying if I didn’t say I am content. In reality I am scared that this is it. But that, I have no control over. I only have control over how I deal with it, my attitude.
Deep down I know I am here for a reason and I need to live with that statement crafted into my heart. I am here to learn, to grow, to stretch and to see what is, ultimately next.
After months and months of planning, praying, along with tears, frustrations and all the goosebumps of AH! moments, it is finally here. It is coming together wonderfully and as we see it becoming a reality I just get more excited.
Come join us and experience the night that is the reason of Christmas. After you sign up for the census, you will meet the Shepherds as they tell their story. Enter into the city gates of Bethlehem and be over taken by the sights, smells and sounds of the market place. Talk to the towns people, shop owners and hear how they heard rumors of the Messiah being born. As you leave the city, you will get to encounter and interact with Mary and Joseph as they share their journey.
This is the telling of the just beginning of the story. Will you be part of the ending?
This past weekend was filled with all things Christmas and it was wonderful! Me and my roommate were aiming for the classy rustic look of things this year in our house, and I think it came together nicely! We had a budget and when you have limited resources, you tend to get creative. As a result, we like to make things if we can. As a result a lot of hot glue, spray paint and traces of glitter were left to clean up. Our friend Caroline came and joined us for a little while too and enjoyed the hot apple cider. To top things off, its finally cold in the sunshine state!
Here are a few pictures of the results of all our hard work. Enjoy!
This is the full picture of the mantel.
I made the wreath with a wire wreath frame, craft paper and coffee filters.
Took me about 45 minutes to an hour.
My roommate had the idea of sticks and both of us, for whatever reason, thought they would lay flatter, so if anyone wants any chrome sticks we have some extra. (also, sorry neighbors, our yard is now silver).
We then bought some cranberry sticks at Joann's for only a dollar each!
Dont have a working fireplace? Its ok!
Put some christmas lights in with the wood
I made these as well. They are actually magazines that I folded, spray painted black and then put glitter all over them.
At the top of the stairs we hung these ornaments from the ceiling. Don't touch! They will fall! :)
Our little tree is just perfect! With our paper chain, homemade ornaments and pinecones it really makes it feel like christmas.