Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yes- we had matching tshirts.

Families like mine dont exist. I am convinced we are...special. You should be jealous.

Lets start from the beginning:

It started with these two love birds. Going on 53 years of marriage, they have truly set the foundation in our family. Anyone who meets them cant help but love them.

 Then came these 3. And you wonder where me and my Brothers get it from:

Then (and we will start with the oldest) this one:

 Met and fell in love with this lady (not the baby. she comes later. but the pretty woman holding her)
They went to chapel. got married and then came baby. or...3

 Then from those 3, these 2 met, fell in love, got married and now I have a sister.

 NOW, in the midst of that, the daughter of the original couple met, fell in love and got married as well. Thus we have these 3:
And finally- the youngest also met, fell in love, got married and he had GIRLS! We love spoiling the new editions.

All caught up? told you you'd be jealous.

Hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gentle and Quiet

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

When I first read this verse, when it first got to me, it was roughly seven years ago. I remember, cause like most girls, I struggled (past tense? no- STRUGGLE) with my self-image, weight, and the perception of myself. The whole “fearfully and wonderfully made” mindset has taken years of prayer, fasting and growth to sink in. All that to say this verse was one of the first steps in helping me realize the selfishness that comes with all consuming vanity.

However, as I have gotten older and (somewhat) wiser in the last seven or so years, this passage continues to expand and grow deeper. Just like the rest of the Word, it continues to amaze me with its vase depth of relevance. But lately, there were two words in particular that have haunted me.

Gentle and Quiet.

If you know me, you know I am neither of these things. I am not exactly the most dainty, graceful, gentle girl. I am also not quiet. Ever. (I can’t help it if I get excited and therefore my voice carries or, as I like to call the perpetual rising of volume). I tend to be dramatic and very extroverted. I am a queen social bee and love, love people. All that being said, when describing myself I don't exactly go to words like gentle and quiet.

I think of “gentle and quiet spirit” and visualize this mousey girl in boring clothes in the corner of the room who uses words like “precious” and  “bless you, sister.” Who just radiates innocence and worships the Lord with self-control and a cute smile on her face.

I struggled with this. Should I become more mousey? Should I wear floral mu-mus and not talk as much? Should I learn to laugh with more volume control? (Don’t answer that!) Should I worship with a softer voice and only raise one hand? Should I change who I am?

God you have called me to obtain this incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit— that is so important to you. How do I do that when my personality is so opposite?

I’ve tried changing, thinking that is what He wanted. Thinking my perception of what He deems as “incorruptible beauty” was correct. (Cause I am always right....) But I failed. Every time. I would show up somewhere prepared to be more to myself and introverted. Then BAM! Laura Jean comes out and I can’t help it. I thrive off people, mingling, and the next thing you know you hear me cackling (yes, I tend to cackle) in the corner and I am planning where we are all going to dinner as I run around.

Sitting on my bed one night, me and the fabulous roommate were playing catch up and I voiced my concerns. Her wisdom was paramount as she pointed out one simple word:


God desires a gentle and quiet spirit. Not personality, or voice, or extroverted/introverted projection on life or even our relationship with Him. He created us with dramatics, creativity, passion and emotion. Don't suppress the personality that He formed. If you have a more shy, quiet persona, EMBRACE it. If you are a more dramatic, loud personality, EMBRACE it. 

The prayer then needs to become: God give me gentle and quiet spirit.

I ask Him:

How do I approach You?
How do I deal with others and their relationship with You?
How do I love You?
Is my spirit one of meekness, submission, humbly patient and open? Do I allow my spirit to be silent and willing to listen?

Is my spirit gentle and quiet?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Set a fire.

"O God of the open ear, give me a heart frameable to thy will; so might I live in prayer, and honour thee, being kept from evil, known and unknown. Let me know that the work of prayer is to BRING MY WILL TO THINE, and that without this it is folly to pray; When you command me to pray it is because thou wilt give me the thing promised, for thy glory, as well as for my good. Help me not only to desire small things, but with holy boldness to desire great things that I might live to show thy glory."

Lights out, the living room is filled with nearly 30 voices desiring to be in the Presence of God.

"No place I would rather be"

Thursday, November 17, 2011


"I get nervous that people are listening to more podcast, teachings and worship songs then they are spending time in the bible...

Man can be inspirational but God's word is revolutionary

Man can get up and inspire people to do something but that goes away. But God's Word will lead you and challenge you to do what you are called to do. I want to be apart of something that is lasting, and that comes from God's word. Church’s are going off of feelings, stories and what a guy says and not even comparing it to God's Word! Let's be apart of a revival that is centered around God's Word and going out and making disciples and not just listening to what man has to say all the time. You feel me?

It is something we should be looking out for."

Wise words from the older brother himself.

The Living Room

    The sidewalk is familiar as I make my way to the front door. For majority of my existence this has been what I have considered home. Tonight is no different, although what is taking place is something I have only been able to dream of. I open the front door and am greeted by the familiar faces that have grown accustomed to this Tuesday routine. Habit sets in and we gather around the coffee pot in the kitchen, waiting for the stragglers to show. The last few weeks we have had some new faces and the encouragement of the contagious event is starting to make way. It seems one person comes and then the next week they bring someone else and the pattern just continues. As the half hour approaches we make our way to the living room, taking a seat in what seems comfortable. The new recruits are still a bit in the dark and you can tell the hesitancy is there- but its masked by the anticipation of what they have heard.

Tonight has been our biggest crowd as they start to spill into the hall and some onto the foyer.I take a quick count... just for fun... 18 tight. 18 strong.

We gather around as we open in prayer and the sound of the guitar starts to lead us. Prayers begin, praise is sung, and we Encounter the One who desires us. This is our refuge. The battle is hard, the fight is strong, and it seems to be never ending. But this? This is a refuge and mighty fortress of restoration.

Curious? You should join us in The Living Room

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Valley Girl

Original post was from October 6th, 2008. You can read the whole thing here.

" We have all had times on the mount, when we have seen things from God's standpoint and have wanted to stay there; but God will never allow us to stay there. The test of our spiritual life is the power to descend; if we have the power to rise only, something is wrong. It is a great thing to be on the mount with God, but a man only gets there in order that afterwards he may get down among the devil-possessed and lift them. We are not built for the mountains and the dawns and aesthetic affinities, those are for moments of inspiration, that is all. We are built for the valley, for the ordinary stuff we are in, and that is where we have to prove our mettle. Spiritual selfishness always wants repeated moments on the mount. The mount is not meant to teach us anything, it is meant to make us something. The moments on the mountain tops are rare moments, and they are meant for something in God's purpose."  Oswald Chambers

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Boston in the Fall

It came at perfect timing and I could not have asked for a better trip with better people. When I got back home from Boston, my roommate asked me our traditional question: "What is one high and one low of the trip?"

 As I sat there, and realized I was back in Florida where the season of fall is 80 degrees and shorts- I tried to take myself back to the actual autumn that I just left. You know the ones that you see in the movies and the pictures of other places? The leaves are changing from green to vibrant oranges, reds and yellows. You actually need a jacket when you go outside- maybe even pack the gloves and scarf for after the sun sets and you don't sweat as you drink your hot cocoa. *sigh* oh well. I can at least say I experienced it right? :)

It truly was an amazing trip, along with the fact that everywhere we went we kept seeing FSU gear on strangers.

These are just the images taken with my phone. I decided to get all artsy and take my old 35mm camera. So when the film gets developed I will share some of those with you as well! But as for now... enjoy! (there is a lot!)
Dunkin. Everywhere.
 Thursday- Fenway and game day!

Our tour guide at Fenway Park. He was amazing!
 We eventually conquered the subway system.

GO NOLES! My first away game and I loved it!

Harvard. I felt like Elle Woods

 Yes. It is half eaten. But it was amazing.

 Our Ghost tour. It was...entertaining.
Last sunset in Boston. We will be back.
Lastly- Thursday was Keely's birthday! Our your guide at Fenway had everyone sing her happy Birthday. It was awesome, along with the fact that 80% of the people on our tour were FSU fans.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dry Bones

Sometimes my heart and mind gets overwhelmed by a few words or thoughts. They become continuous in my life, prayer, reading and in conversations. During those times I cant help but wonder what God has up his sleeve. It is in these times, that I have to write it out and see what happens. This is one of those moments.

I stumble over them. They are disposed everywhere and as I walk, I am careful not to crush them as they are already fragile and broken. I tip toe around the pieces of what once was. I remember this place. The memories of full life and vigor rush back as the reality of dried death stare at me in the face. The spirit of praise, adoration and revival are no longer. The love of You was immersed in this valley and now... now I feel desperate and alone. The ground is covered in the memories of the lifeless past. Somewhere along the line- we forgot what had happened. We got caught up in the technicalities of doing work and not realizing the death that comes of monotonous, dull routine. We allowed division to creep in amongst us and quenched the power that was once inside of us. The walls became thicker and the mortar of pride and selfishness rang in strength.

Here we are- dead, stagnant and lifeless. 

Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD.’” (NASB)

The breath fills my lungs as my eyes are open to the awakened new life that is within me. I am aware that I am not alone in this- as others are becoming aware of the need and the urgency to stand. As one we rise, we come together and proclaim that it is time to call upon the power of the grave. This is not a time of slumber no more- but to be brought back to the active wonderment of Him.

"'For here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to take you out of these countries, gather you from all over, and bring you back to your own land. I'll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I'll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I'll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that's God-willed, not self-willed. I'll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. You'll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors. You'll be my people! I'll be your God!” Ezekiel 36:24-28 (MSG)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


In 27 hours and 17 minutes I will be starting the journey to check off one (of many) that is on my travel list. I cant wait to sit on the plane and feel like its actually happening!  You see this trip isnt just any ole trip. It contains some important variables: Football, Friends, and Cold weather.

Our beloved Noles play Boston College this thursday and we are making a trip out of it. I am looking forward to actually witnessing fall colors, bundling up in layers and just having a good time with friends.
But to get in the spirit of the trip and set the stage for what all is happening I have some photos to recap the past few weeks.

Its been good fall weather for the game days and I just love it.

My camera is ready, my new moleskin is full of blank pages waiting to be filled and the anticipation is just a sign that I wont be sleeping tonight.