// b r o k e n //

“Do not judge and criticize and condemn [others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge], so that you will not be judged [unfairly]. FOR JUST AS YOU [HYPOCRITICALLY] JUDGE OTHERS [WHEN YOU ARE SINFUL AND UNREPENTANT], SO WILL YOU BE JUDGED; and in accordance with YOUR STANDARD of measure, judgment will be measured to you. WHY DO YOU LOOK AT THE [INSIGNIFICANT] SPECK that is in your brother’s eye, but DO NOT NOTICE AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE [EGREGIOUS] LOG that is in your own eye?…

YOU HYPOCRITE [play-actor, pretender], first-get the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to the speck out of your brother’s eye.” ~Matthew 7: 1-3; 5

I need to apologize to my friends and family. I have been a person sitting on the sidelines while injustice has happened all over my Facebook timeline. I have gently waited for someone else to say something so I wouldn’t have to. I have liked and loved all my friends statuses showing support for others. And yet, I haven’t been daring enough to say anything. I haven’t joined the conversation because I was worried what people would think if I did say something. What if they disagreed with me? What if someone sees me as “Lindsay the white, privileged girl who’s just trying to say her piece”? What if… 

I’m tired of the what ifs keeping me from sharing my thoughts on the tragedies that are covering our social media feeds and televisions. By me not saying something, I’m joining the ranks of those saying this behavior from our police departments is fine, that brutality is “just part of the job”. I can’t stay quiet any longer.

Yesterday, my younger sister was the one who brought the tragedy of Terence Crutcher to my eyes. I had no idea what happened in my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I waited for the release of the video footage. And then I saw it. I watched it. And then I watched it again. And then again. I laid on my bed and wept. What I saw was a human being, with his hands in the air, walking back to his vehicle with the hazards on. I heard the pilots of the helicopter say “he looks like a bad man” and “he’s going to get tasered”. And then I see that human being hit the pavement, his shirt smeared with his own blood. What I expected to see next were the police officers going to his side and checking for signs of life. Instead, I saw 4 to 5 police officers huddled together, while 6 feet away, a man lay dead. Oh, and in the midst of the images on my screen, I hear the pilots say “Oh, did anyone clear his car?” This whole situation has escalated on my Facebook feed and various social media accounts. The comments for the most part reflect my own… “This has to stop”, “This is wrong. He had his hands in the air…”, “Why are we grabbing for the gun instead of responding calmly?”, and my most asked question, “He’s a human being… why was he not treated as such?” Then, in between the people who are asking the same things I am, are the ignorant. That’s right, I said it. There are those who jump in and offer their “shady condolences” and commentary saying “Well, he had a record. He was known for not following what cops asked. He was probably on something. So, really, there’s nothing wrong. The cops did their jobs”. This is where my heart breaks even more and my anger rises up.

Since when does someone’s past dictate the care we offer them? Since when does someone’s background merit an egregious reaction? Why is a man being shot at point blank range suddenly appropriate when, if it were a white man, our world would be outraged? I’m tired of sitting silently when people, OUR PEOPLE, are dying deaths they do not deserve. I say “our people” because you live in a community of all different people around you… that means you belong to that community…and that means, the people around you are your people, NO MATTER THEIR RACE OR RELIGION, THEY’RE YOUR PEOPLE. My hometown is hurting and that means, I am hurting with them. I work in social service. I work with kids who have records much like Terence Crutcher did. And you know what? I don’t care. I don’t care that they’re black or white or indian. I don’t care that these kids I work with come to me carrying some real baggage. Why? Because it is my duty and honor to serve and protect these kids. When I signed my contract, I didn’t sign it with the condition that the kids I serve have pristine and squeaky clean backgrounds and that they’re white. When I signed my contract, my eyes watered. This was the job I prayed for. These are the kids and the population I have prayed over for years, and now, I get to come alongside them and help them. I have the responsibility of providing them the best care EVEN IF they don’t deserve it. So, when people mention a man’s past and how his death is a justified action, I cringe. How would you feel about being judged? How would you feel about people knowing your stuff and calling the action toward you justice? I don’t believe for a minute that any of us would want our deepest, darkest judgments publicized for others to see. When you’re judging others and doing so so harshly, think of Jesus, when he was with the people and the disciples, teaching them the beatitudes and talking about how to pray and then, yes, Jesus goes there… He instructs his people, ALL OF HIS PEOPLE, not to judge others because the measure they judge others, is the exact measure of judgment they will get. <insert cringeworthy face here>.

I’m broken, friends. I have been called “an idiot white girl“, a “wagon rider who doesn’t do her research before speaking” and my personal favorite, “a privileged white, educated woman who came down from her ivory tower to bless the common folk with her knowledge”. I was so paranoid after seeing those comments hurled my way, that I reached out to one of my closest friends, Matthias. I knew if I was ignorant or if I was missing something, he would tell me. I started a conversation I’ve always wanted to have with a friend of mine whom I admire so much. I told him to tell me where I’m missing the mark. And instead, I was met with appreciation for asking the question of how to speak up and encouraged to point the conversation back to Jesus. My friend Cicely texted me later and asked if I had an opinion on police brutality and you better believe I do. I was having conversations with change makers and all I had to do, was ask the question and open that door. If we truly want to see change happen, we have to be willing to check ourselves, check that the planks in our eyes are gone so we can truly help those around us with the small specks in their own.

To the family of Terence Crutcher, I am so sorry. I am sorry that you lost a pillar in your family. I am weeping with you, praying that the God of all peace surrounds and comforts you. I’m praying that you feel His peace and that you know He is weeping with you, mourning with you and covering you with His love. That’s the wonderful thing about our Jesus… He is everything we need. I’m also praying that the Crutcher Family’s example of asking for peace amidst this situation resonates with my hometown and all the communities in Oklahoma and the United States. Now is not the time to act in strife, but it is the time to rally together, support one another and peacefully protest the behavior of another black life taken at the hands of police. I am with you, and I will be part of the solution, no longer sitting on the sidelines.

#TerenceCrutcher
#Justice4Crutch
#BlackLivesMatter

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//give it up//

I love music.

I have it on everywhere I go. It’s on my phone. It’s on my computer. It’s on my freaking TV. It’s on in my car. It’s always on.

Have you ever had a moment where you just need something different? Funny how we find ourselves in that place every once in awhile. I found myself there last week. I was bored when I got in the car. My first thought was “Oh, I’ll just change what’s playing”. When I did, I was met with  the same boring feeling. I changed the station. I listened to sports. I listened to NPR and then quickly got depressed because the News can be depressing. I was struggling. Funny again how I didn’t automatically think “maybe I could just be alone with Jesus in my car….like I used to”.

If you know anything about my job, you know it requires a lot of driving. I drive to my kid’s house and sit and assess and work on our session for an hour and then hit that miserable part of the day where NO ONE IN OKC KNOWS HOW TO DRIVE…yes, traffic time. The farthest I drive out is to Midwest City and Norman. Not far. And usually at the times I’m going, I don’t hit any traffic *knock on wood*. Point being, I’m in my car a lot and usually singing my heart out and not always to Jesus music.

I woke up on Sunday and was so excited. Antioch OKC (my church, WHAT WHAT!) moved it’s service to Sunday morning and I was TIRED. I was happy, and excited, but man, I was tired. And I was also dreading the 7 minute drive to church. When I got to church, it was awesome. Worship was amazing. And then the message. Blake said so many things that hit me right between the eyes.

Where is your focus going? What’s on your phone, taking your focus away from what you could be doing? Are you bored with “church”? How’s your foundation? WE HAVE GOT TO GET BACK TO THE BASICS…WHERE OUR FOUNDATION IS SOUND AND FOCUS IS ON JESUS AND BEING WITH JESUS AND LETTING HIM CHANGE US…

I sat back and thought about it. I love sports (obviously), but I’m not freaking out about the Pennant or the NFL or even the NBA right now. College football gets my Saturday, sure, but it’s not something I wake up wondering about. My social media habits have dramatically changed. When I wasn’t working and was waiting on a job, I was glued to my computer. I had to know what was going on with other people who had lives while mine seemingly was stalled. I post stuff and love keeping my friends and family apprised of my life in OKC, but it’s not something I get life from. But music… 

My heart sank.

“You’re gonna ask me that aren’t You? You’re going to ask me, THIS WEEK OF ALL WEEK’S WHERE I’M DRIVING TO STROUD, OKLAHOMA, to give up music…”

“Just come back, Linds… I have something I want to do in you and you can’t be distracted… Give me 10 days…”

“But God, why does it have to be something I love so much…”

“Because you’re finding yourself in other’s songs and words rather than Mine…”

And I was done.

Like I said, I am a lover of music. It can’t be silent in my apartment. Even now as I write this, I have no music on…and it’s strange, y’all. What I realized in that moment when Blake was challenging us as a church to do was not to give everything up and be a weirdo Christian with all these rules and regulations. He was challenging us to get back to that place where it didn’t matter what show was on TV, it didn’t matter who was playing the game, it didn’t matter what new song was on the radio… all that mattered was spending time with Jesus. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never told a friend “sorry, I can’t have coffee with you. That’s my time with the Lord”. No! I am the first to admit I will freaking drop Jesus time to be with my gal pals. And I’ve realized I’ve probably placed a higher importance on my favorite music rather than spending time with the One who created that gift and gave me my voice.

So I did it. I made a decision. The next 10 days I will be listening to podcasts and sermons rather than my usual go to of secular music. I’m 3 days in and it’s a game changer. I’ve heard outstanding messages from some of my favorite pastors and teachers on confidence, boldness, and the one thing I’ve never quite wrapped my head around…FAITH. I come off like I’m the most confident and faith filled person, but that’s not me. I have no reason to doubt Jesus and his faithfulness to me, because he’s done so much, but for whatever reason, some things haven’t happened yet and I’ve basically given up on those things. But I believe getting back to the basics of simply believing like a child that God is there and is never leaving me is exactly what I need. Yes, I’m worshipping. Yes, I’m still singing in my car, but the difference is the atmosphere I’m creating again. I’m creating the exact atmosphere I believe my miracles came in. The miracles I’ve experienced came when I was worshipping. Not when I was doubting and comparing myself to others. They came when my heart was abandon to the cause and call of Jesus.

Some of y’all will probably be like “She’s nuts” and that’s ok. I’m not trying to tell everyone to look at me and all that I’m doing for the Lord. I say it because all of us have something that is clouding our view from what Jesus has for us.

So whatever it is, maybe it’s time for a change in your routine… who knows, it could be just the thing you need for a breakthrough.

//its the most wonderful time of the year…//

annnnnnnnnnd I’m not talking Christmas…although, let’s be real, Christmas is awesome.

I’m talking about… FOOTBALL.

the greatest man I know... Joe Davis

the greatest man I know… Joe Davis

I love the smell of the air during football season. It’s like the smell of school supplies. You can’t completely tell someone what it smells like, but you know it’s brand new pencils, notebook paper, and Elmer’s glue and Cheetos all rolled into one. (that sounds awful, but amazing all at once… RIGHT?!). I wish I could say I love football season because of the team and what not. My love for football goes so much deeper than that.

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ONES UP

Someone of you know why football season means so much. But for those of you who do not, allow me to tell you. In early 1970s, a guy named Steve Davis was asked if he’d like to be the 8th Quarterback recruit at the University of Oklahoma. For years, he had admired some of the best QBs OU had ever seen and wanted so badly to be where they were… on the field of the iconic Palace on the Prairie in Norman, OK. He would work through frustration after frustration, disappointment after disappointment to then land red-shirted. He worked hard, and wouldn’t you know it, he became the all-time winningest quarterback OU had seen leading the Crimson and Cream to 2 national championships and numerous records. That man was my uncle. My Uncle Steve made a name for himself at OU and his brothers followed him, doing the same. The Davis name isn’t just a name… It’s a recognizable family. I remember the first time I realized my Uncle Steve wasn’t just my uncle… I was young…maybe 5 or 6, and we were watching a game on ABC. The next thing I know, there he was… pearly whites and perfectly coiffed hair on my TV screen! No one believed me when I said my uncle was on TV. I remember being in middle school and hearing “Joe Davis?? Is that you?” and having one of the Owens brothers strike up a conversation. Knowing Joe Washington and how he knew my dad and my uncles Steve and George… These are Sooner legends and it’s unreal I know these awesome men now.

My family, specifically my father, raised me with this love of all things OU. My dad is one of the most passionate people I know. He gets it. He loves life. He loves the high moments. He celebrates everyone. He also celebrates family so well. Everything I know about OU football is because of my dad.

from the beginning...

from the beginning…

I feel as though Gaylord Memorial Stadium  is where I learned a lot. Dad and Mom usually pulling us in close so we didn’t get lost. Dad leaning down to let me know what play just happened and why it’s called a play action instead of just a throw. Dad would let me stand in front of him on the  bleacher and every time OU hit a down or scored or intercepted the ball, he would freak out! And that inevitably meant, his girls followed. That tradition of OU football has carried over into my adulthood. I live for the fall. I live for the moments where my family comes together to watch OU games. It means more now because I live away from my parents and sisters. Coming together over our mutual love of the game is fantastic. We get dressed up in our best game day wear. We ride together. We laugh until we cry listening to the same stories we’ve grown up listening to. We stand in line together waiting to get into the stadium. And then once we’re at the seats… all bets are off. We are crying babies during the OU Chant. We scream and get into conversations with the people around us. We live for game days…

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So, yes, I spent a whole post talking about how much I love OU football and fall. I love family and I love sharing these experiences with people I love and appreciate. I love family and I know the main reason behind this post is the fact we’re approaching the best time of year and I’m feeling emotions because I’m away from my dad, my numero uno football watching partner and also, my uncle is gone. I’m a girl who gets all sentimental when I hear OU Chant. I’m the girl who smells cinnamon sugar and turkey legs and is instantly at the Cotton Bowl during the Texas State Fair, anticipating the OU/Texas game. I guess I’m saying, y’all should get ready. Because if you thought my posts about the NBA were excessive, it’s about to get even wilder… I’m an OU Alum and plan on posting my pride in my team just like last year…

So, get ready friends… Fall is upon us… and that means FOOTBALL.

Boomer Baby.

Linds




//an ode to my twenties…//

Today is the last day of my twenties. And here is how I feel about it…

it is. age is just a number...

it is. age is just a number…

I’ve heard for several years from women whom I admired that this day would be the worst day of my life. That I would hate it. That I would feel less like I was less of a person because I was no longer considered “young”. But here’s where I differ from these women…

I’M SO THRILLED FOR MY THIRTIES… Like…. Beyond the usual realm of excitement. I am so excited for a new decade. I remember turning 10 and what it meant. My parents took me to dinner and gave me cards and my dad talked to me about how special being in the double digits meant. Sure it sounds cheesy, but my dad shared about how I’m the oldest daughter and I have two sisters watching what I do. About how important decisions are and how as I get older, my relationship with Jesus will be the most important one because having the Lord’s guidance will make all the difference. I’m sure those women who were my friends didn’t mean to make 30 sound awful. Many of them were married and had kids by the time they were turning 30. Me? I’m single, working in a career I love and adore, and surrounded by the best people I could’ve ever imagined. I’m so happy about my thirties because I think it signifies something special. It means that up till this point, I’ve made some good decisions, great decisions but I’ve made some awful ones too. I’ve made split second decisions that have brought shame and pity and self-doubt. I’ve had to stare those thoughts in the face and let them know I’m not that person anymore. I’ve had to continually run back to Jesus over some of those decisions just because they hurt some people who were in my path. Twenties… I looked forward to you for ages because it meant I could drink, I could party with my friends, and I could live on my own with credit cards and school loans. But thirties… I’m so looking forward to you because there’s no need to test the limits of adulthood. I know what adulthood looks like and I know more than I did approaching my twenties. Going from 19 to 20 was stupid. I was so not ready for adulthood. I was not responsible enough to handle a bank account, spending money or drinking. But 29 to 30… I’m more than ready.

In my late twenties, I made more definitive decisions than ever. I went to grad school. I moved away. I was a graduate assistant in residence life at OU. I found a wonderful church. I have the best friends in the world. I have a church family I love and adore. I now have a job with an incredible company where I get to work with teenagers who are aging out of foster care. I love my life. Some of my favorite things are pictured below…

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This is my sister Jessica. She does still love the Jonas Brothers, but she also loves celebrating. I’ve always loved how my sisters and I are able to celebrate each other. Every little milestone, every relationship, every fun thing in between… There’s no one I would rather celebrate with than them…

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I love Snapchat. Because you get to do things like spit rainbows while being a unicorn… 🙂

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Again… Jess for the win. ((She’s going to kill me for posting this…))

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Hailey. She really does love me even though I take pics all the time… gotta commemorate everything.

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My dad’s best friend has been an adopted family member for as long as I can remember. Uncle Jerry has been there to celebrate the ups and downs with our family and Nicki has been right there with him for parts of it. Family is so important. I’ve learned that I can’t make it without my family… I love them…

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Oh Quentin, Sir Distinction. You waltzed into my life back in June of last year and that’s when times changed for me. You became a solid friend who called the greatness out of me when I couldn’t see or when I was down. You never denied me my right to feel however I felt, but you never let me stay there. We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. And we’ve celebrated. So thankful for you and Takeisa. Moral of the story: find solid friends who know who they are. If they say “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”, then I’m really glad I have I Quentin and Takeisa.

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Rachel. We wear glasses. We dress the same more often than not. We laugh and cry every time we’re together… To think I met Rach when I was brand new to Norman and Antioch and was so nervous about this decision… Those decisions left because of a solid gal pal like Rach.

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Yep. Dyl. The little brother I never had. He’s the one who broke me into the life of the spontaneous. Like when he showed up at my house at midnight before Valentine’s Day and said “How do you feel about going to Orlando? I think we should go. Oh and I found tickets for $150. I say yes. You say yes. Good. We’re going.” Find friends who make you get out of your shell and do new things!

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I did it. I graduated. I worked hard for a year and a half and from the university I was told, while in high school, I would never get into. I got in, I worked my ass off, managed to keep a solid 3.89-4.0 GPA every semester and I graduated. If this was a test in life, I’m pretty sure I passed with flying colors. And you know what? I would do it all over again.

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I think what I’m trying to say is, no matter how old you are, never take yourself so seriously that you miss out on the great things in front of you. If I had focused on the dread of turning 30, I would be so sad and worried that I’m by myself in OKC for my birthday weekend. I could pity myself and turn this into something it’s not. Guess what? I’m a working adult, much like my sisters and parents. I’ll see them on Monday and you know who made that call? ME. I wanted to make time for myself on this adult birthday of mine. I wanted to be able to sit on my patio and think about the life I’ve lived up until this point and then look forward. I believe my best days are ahead of me. I know I’m going to get married. I know I’m going to have a slew of kids, both mine and adopted. I’m going to have a great house, the golden doodle, the nice car, ALL OF IT. I get to look ahead and dream. So, while my twenties were not my favorite, I know my thirties are going to be one for the ages.

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Goodbye, twenties. You were great while you lasted, but thirty… THIRTY, YOU LOOKIN GOOD.


//#lindstoOKC//

Hey everyone…

It’s July 4th and I haven’t written in months. Well, I have, but just haven’t posted anything. I feel as though I always begin like this. I always start with the intention that I’m going to keep up with the Kardashians and write my life story to you. And then I inevitably fail. So, I’ve decided that I’m not going to pressure myself into feeling or being anyone other than myself. I have a dedicated group of followers who, for whatever reason, think I’m worth following. That is unreal. I appreciate it so much.

Let’s play catch up.

  1. January-April was TERRIBLE. Absolutely terrible. Why? Because Grad School got real and I almost lost my everliving mind. Grad school is hard. It is, but it is so incredibly rewarding. I am so beyond thankful. I made it. I wrote the damn comprehensive exam. They lost my results, but I passed. And I made it to…
  2. Graduation! I graduated from the university I always wanted to go to. I not only graduated from there but I got into said university and nailed it in every way. I maintained a 4.0 4 of the 5 semesters I was there. I made friends. I attended football games and basketball games as a student. UNREAL experience. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
  3. Unemployment. You know what people don’t tell you about Grad School? The job hunt is hard, if not harder after you graduate. I was told “you’ll find a job in now time!” Y’all lied. I started the job hunt in true Lindsay fashion–7 months before graduation. I had 2 (yes, ONLY 2) interviews and no 2nd round interviews. I applied for numerous jobs at OU…never heard anything. I approached the graduation deadline with nothing setup and on a whim applied for a company that had openings in Oklahoma and low and behold…
  4. Employment! When I finally came to grips with reality that I probably wasn’t going to get hired outside Oklahoma (I really wanted you Nashville), and just accepted it, the door flew wide open. I went from unemployed with a masters degree, living in my sister’s old bedroom (yeah, it’s still referred as her room even though she hasn’t lived there in almost 2 years) at my parents house to employed in OKC, at a company I feel I dreamed up. It’s unreal. Jesus is so good. SO GOOD.
  5. OKC. Oh. My. Goodness. OKC I’m back! I’ve come to love OKC in a real romantic way. It’s like I went from the comforts of Tulsa, to the comfort of Dad’s stomping grounds in Norman to the real deal of OKC. OKC is this up incoming city that is hidden in many ways. People know OKC because of, DUH, our NBA team (more on that in a second), but there’s something about OKC that stands out to me. I loved it when my sister lived here. Visiting Jess was always an adventure. We did yoga and pilates at a gym down the street from her house. We went to Bleu Garten when it was first starting up. We went to late night movies at the Bricktown theater. We ate ourselves sick at Fuzzy’s and adventured out with friends to different clubs in Bricktown. I can’t wait to keep growing up here in OKC. It’s unreal.
  6. The NBA. “But Linds, do you even know basketball?” Why thank you for asking. Yes, actually I do. I remember watching Karl Malone with the Utah Jazz and how he did a dunk and he ripped his hand up. I remember Michael Jordan running all over people and being the best player ever. I remember Shaq and Charles Barkley. My dad, the ultimate athlete, trained his daughters well. He didn’t have sons, so he watched sports with us. And I’m not mad about it. I’m so thankful. Why? It builds this sense of camaraderie in you. It makes you think you could join a team somewhere, athletic or not, and you could be a force to be reckoned with! I claimed OKC as my NBA when they first came to OKC after being in Seattle. But you didn’t hear much about them until 2010 when they made it to the finals. Then it just built up. There was that one guy Kevin, who was so good at building up his team and his love for home. That one dude Russ wasn’t so bad either. The Thunder became a household name in no time. Families would change their eating locations so they could watch the game and not miss a beat. I’m sure the DVR/Tivo sales went up in Oklahoma when people started taking notice. The last 2 years have been weird for me. I was in a different place, didn’t know a lot of people and I started picking different hobbies. I started crocheting like a 90-year-old grandma because it was easy and fun. I bought lots of coloring books and markers to be one of those cool hipsters who colored instead of sharing their emotions like a regular person. I focused genuine energy in learning about the NBA and College Football. I started interacting more with fans on Twitter. I wrote little things here and there about OKC Thunder and why I loved them. I got to know the players on the team I called my own. Now, today may be the 4th of July, but to Oklahomans, it’s our dark day. It’s the day we lost our boy KD to our ultimate enemy. He’s leaving us for sunny, smell of sea salt air and Ghirardelli Chocolate San Francisco. I’m personally devastated because I did all the research. I listened to all the podcasts. I saw all the numbers that pushed the weight in our favor. “He’s Kevin Durant. He won’t leave us. He loves us too much. He’d never do that to us and to the Warriors? No way…” Well, it’s done. My phone went off like crazy for a solid 15 minutes because it was getting blown up by notification after notification saying my personal nightmare. While I’m happy he’s doing what he feels is right for him, we’re all still here, numb from the sting of our favorite guy, who made us believe we could accomplish what everyone on ESPN said we couldn’t do, and his decision to go. The Thunder means a lot to me. They are my team. If I wasn’t at home, I brought my computer with me and pretended to be taking notes while I watch the game. I set my DVR. I called and conferenced with my dad about how we looked and how Billy Donovan was coaching the game. I went to games with my sister. I bought a pair of KDs and asked for Thunder gear for Christmas. I FREAKING LIVE IN THE CITY WHERE THESE GUYS LIVE AND PLAY. The Thunder means something. Oklahoma is full of dedicated people who, when they commit to something, they COMMIT and HOLD FAST. I’m one of those people. KD, I’ll miss you dude. I really will. You were my guy. I was #35 this entire time. But now, I feel like I got dumped by that idiot I dated in college who told me, AFTER A WEEKEND AWAY WITH HIS FAMILY, I wasn’t fun anymore and he wanted to break up. This stings. You’re not just leaving us, you’re going to the Warriors? I literally can’t with you, dude. I hope you enjoy SF and chasing a ring. But I’m rooting for the guys who now have a MASSIVE CHIP ON THEIR SHOULDER from missing the finals and blowing the 3-1 lead (partly your fault, by the way) and you leaving them. I’m sorry, I’m for the underdog. I’m all for OKC. I want us to get it all and hoist that trophy so high you can’t get the image out of your head. Let’s go OKC. Let’s go get us our moment.

So there’s that. I’m no expert in the game, but I’m a huge fan. I’ve accomplished a lot over the last several months and I’m so looking forward to all the new things that are coming up fast. Nothing better than new things. Oh, and OKC forever.

Linds

 

//the waiting room//

I don’t know who will see this, if anyone will find it remotely interesting, or if it will speak to where you’re at. I don’t know who reads my blog…all I know is that I have some 2000 people who see these posts and think I’m an ok, kinda sorta funny, 29 year old and I love and appreciate that so much. Seriously, when I started this blog, I thought I would just write a few things and maybe someone would be encouraged. But when you get emails that ask “When are you going to write more? This once in a blue moon thing isn’t going to cut it”, that means the world.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a terribly impatient person. I can’t do it. I can barely wait for my water glass to be refilled and waiting for something worth so much more makes my skin crawl. I can’t. I literally can’t do it.

I’m a graduate student at an incredible university, that even with all its quirks and weirdness, I feel like I’m supposed to be here. I have the best friends. I have the best church and life group. I love it here. I love Norman, Oklahoma and don’t want to leave. But…< *don’t you hate this? I always hate the “but” that usually comes after all the good and great things someone has pointed out about you*> I’m still waiting… 

Waiting is just… the literal worst. No one likes it. No one likes waiting for someone to call. No one likes waiting for money to hit the bank account. No one likes swiping their credit card, hoping they can buy the bare minimum groceries sitting in the basket. No one likes waiting for test results. No one likes waiting. What I’ve recently realized is there is a lot of life that happens while you wait. I’ve decided to document it and hopefully, you get a laugh or two out of it.

While you’re waiting, take time to…

  1. Breathe. You can’t change what will or won’t happen. By you holding your breath, all you’re doing is causing yourself internal pain and your facial color to change. Stop it. Breathe.
  2. Sleep. Did you know sleep is important to your daily functioning? No? Allow me to demonstrate its importance with this: my friend Katie and I were talking the other night and she said “Linds… I was so tired the other day, I took a video of me driving home. Look at my eyes…one of them is drooping so low, it looks like my eye is closed! Honestly, when I figured out I parked my car outside my house, I don’t know how I even got home”. Y’all. I’ve been where Katie has been. In fact, while I was writing my comprehensive exam, I got maybe 3-4 hours of sleep every night for a solid 3 weeks. The week the exam was due, I had 3 days where my total sleep amount was 8 hours. 8 HOURS FOR 3 DAYS. Y’all, my whole life was a miracle during February. I really should not have been allowed to drive a car, cut vegetables, or talk to people with that little sleep. Take time to sleep.
  3. Talk to someone. I don’t know about you, but I tend to bottle my emotions up because I’m the happy go lucky girl who loves to support and celebrate others. I love listening to people. I love to laugh and make people laugh. I love laughing until I’m crying. I love how infectious laughter is…BUT, I’m also human, and every happy go lucky girl has her limits. I am so weak, you guys. I am tired. And when I am tired, I cry. When I am weak, the happy go lucky Linds goes away and in her place is the real, raw Linds that no one but my sisters and parents and maybe 2 friends have seen. I knew I needed to talk to someone when I found myself crying over my notes in the middle of the library at OU. It was like all of a sudden, I was noticing my notes were all smeared. I was losing my edge. The greatest thing was in my phone, I have several people I could reach out to. When I let it out, and my friend let me just cry and said “it sucks, but you’re stronger than this… you can do it”, I felt like it was ok to be my true self, happy go lucky or weak. You’re stronger when you have that support system. Let people in. It’s good for your soul and for your sanity.
  4. Eat and drink. The last 2 weeks have been horrifyingly awful for me. I went to Whataburger on Saturday night and couldn’t eat all of my burger and fries… AND IF YOU KNOW ME, YOU KNOW THIS IS A TRAVESTY. Why? Stress kills not only my vibe, but my appetite. Luckily, my friend Dylan was like “Ummm I know you didn’t eat lunch and you probably ate half a donut for breakfast. You’re eating dinner. Do it.” I’ve forgotten to drink water. If it weren’t for Hailey and Jess checking in to make sure I’m still mentally aware of what’s happening, I would probably be very dehydrated. Don’t be that person who neglects all the important things because you feel you can’t make it. You can, and in order to do so, you need food and drink.
  5. Celebrate…but carefully. I’m all about the celebration. I love it all. But when I’m feeling lost or hurt or absolutely like my future is so unsettled, I tend to go overboard. And yes, I’m talking about alcohol. It’s a vice that temporarily makes me bold and even more happy than I am…keyword is temporary. When I wake up after a night of drinking that went too far, I feel guilty and dirty. It’s like I know my limits and went so far past them that it literally causes me pain the next day. Luckily, this hasn’t happened in what seems like ages, but has really been a few months. I went out recently and had a blast. I had 2, maybe 3 drinks, and the rest of the time, I drank water and just laughed with my friends. I didn’t feel guilty at all. I actually felt like if I hadn’t gone out with friends, I would’ve been worse. Worry and stress keep you high strung and physically hurting. When you’re able to release that and just be you, its so rewarding when you go home and fall asleep.
  6. Hug someone. I need hugs in order to function. Some people need acts of service. Others need gifts. Me? If you see me, just hug me. I remember when my parents came to Norman the week my exam was due and when I saw my dad standing in my house, I fell apart. I stood there and wept. And what did my dad do? Just hugged me. Just told me he was so proud of me for what I’ve accomplished in a year’s time. My mom just sat next to me while I printed out my basketball ticket. I was emotionally on edge and ready to lose it that my parents and sister just let me. Up until this point, I’m pretty sure my family has only seen me lose it a few times, but this time, they didn’t tell me not to. They didn’t tell me to pull it together. They just hugged me. Sometimes, that’s all you need.
  7. Encourage…someone else. I know. It’s hard when you’re facing a freaking huge challenge yourself to change your focus to someone else. You should take the time to look around you and see who’s needing encouragement. Most of the time it’s the person who’s writing my name on my Starbucks cup. You can tell people have overlooked them and just wanted their coffee. I’ve started being intentional when I’m at the market or Starbucks. I make sure my phone is in my bag or pocket and always ask how they are. Friday, I was at Q’Doba and the guy helping me was run down and frustrated. The group in front of me was oblivious to the fact he was trying to serve them because they were on their phones. When I got to the register I said “Are you doing ok?” and he just stopped and looked at me and said “you’re the first person who’s asked me that…I’m ready for this week to be over… Today sucked”. I simply smiled and said “Yeah, I feel you on that. It’s been a week for sure”. He looked at me and said “You know what… just take this. It’s on the house. Are you always like this?” I said “I’m trying to be.” Y’all. You don’t know who needs to be acknowledged but you should take time to.
  8. Pray. I wish I could say I pray all the time and my heart life is in perfect condition. It’s not. I’d be lying if I said it was perfect. Actually, if I’m being honest, my prayer life sucks. Like I pray, but it’s the usual “Hey God, it’s me, Linds. Keep me from hurting people using only my words today. K. Thanks”. It’s nothing substantial. I put an expectation on myself for April. My faith has been a little lacking lately, so I told the Lord that April was my month. It’s my month for amazing results and a for sure YOU GET TO GRADUATE on my exam and not just any job, but THE job on OU’s campus. I told the Lord that I have the faith to see those things come to pass. Have they yet? Nope. But it’s still April. This is the first time in a long time that I look to the Lord with this confident expectation (hello… it’s called HOPE) that God is going to answer me, but in a better way than what I even know. Did you know it’s completely appropriate to tell the Lord your expectations? He wants that. He wants you to be so open and vulnerable with him that you just naturally spill it. So, I’ve been incredible vulnerable with the Lord. I believe he knows what he’s doing with me. He knows why the time is taking longer than expected for my test results. He knows why I haven’t heard anything for 2 of the jobs I’m so excited and passionate about. He knows. So why am I still so uptight about waiting? Because even though I know it’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to, since its not up to me, it drives me absolutely crazy. This is why we are not good left to our own devices. This is why as human beings we need someone to contend and fight for us. Because us fighting for ourselves would be a complete and utter nuisance. This is why prayer is a necessity to this waiting life.

When you’re in the waiting room, it’s not time to freak out. It’s actually the best time to breathe, to focus and to get yourself ready for what’s coming. The waiting room is the last stop before the next phase begins. When you leave the waiting room, your life changes in an instant. It isn’t going to be the same after that. So, while you wait, no matter how long it takes, think about all the life you’ve lived. Think about all the lessons you’ve learned, the friends you’ve made and the moments you walked away with. I guarantee you, what’s next will be even better than what you’ve just went through. And guess what? If you did horrible in this waiting room, there will be another, maybe not as long, but another one for sure. And because you’ve been through this one, it’ll be a bit easier to rest, pray, focus and prepare.

Don’t get too hurried in the waiting room… Just trust me… Don’t.

me? saying yes to an adventure? DEFINITE MIRACLE.

**Thanks Fairy Godmother… for coming through again**

//season of unreasonable optimism//

I’ve been challenging myself for the last couple weeks. It all started with a message my pastor and his wife spoke 2 weeks ago. It was about Freedom. As I sat in my seat, my face started burning (that happens with me. When Jesus starts speaking to me, my face gets hot and my ears turn red like they do when I know someone is talking about me… it’s a quirk. Thanks God 😉). It was as though this message was just for me. I have a choice about how I live. Sin keeps me from experiencing my relationship with Jesus to the fullest. I don’t want that at all. Am I perfect? No way. I will never be perfect, but I can strive to be a follower of Christ and by doing so, anything that doesn’t bring Jesus praise is not something I want to be a part of. I realized in that moment, sure, I was living a good life, but nothing about it really screamed “I’m a follower of Jesus”. If I’m being 100% honest with all of you, I’ve always hidden my faith away because I never wanted to offend anyone. Now, I’m an adult. I have every right to have my own opinions and thoughts on things and why wouldn’t I wear my faith like my favorite sweater in winter? I have nothing to hide behind. I have no reason to hide my faith at all. In fact, it’s because of my faith that I am who I am. I am a happy, peaceful, and genuine person. I love people. I love to celebrate people. I love to share my life with whoever I am around. That’s because of Jesus in me. I’m able to love people well because I know he loves me and no matter what I’ve done before, no matter if friends or anyone has considered me an afterthought, he chose me… he chose me first. It was within that message that Chris said “You know, the people who are the most free are the ones who have nothing to hide. They live life in vulnerability…” So, to continue this journey, I’m about to get real vulnerable with a couple thousand of you who read my blog on a regular basis. Here goes…

There is something wrong with me. I am a ridiculously happy person about 6 out of 7 days a week. There’s always 1 day where I wake up extremely late and it puts me in a mood…but we’re all allowed 1 day right?! I love people. I love serving them. I love being with my friends who’ve become extended family. I am a hopeful person…for everyone but myself. *insert cries of “ouch!” and “YIKES” here*

I can pray all day long for my friends and family. I can pray peace for you. I can pray hope for you. I can HOPE WITH YOU FOR WHATEVER IT IS YOU NEED…but when it comes to me, I have a problem. I think I have something wrong with my heart and head because they never match up. I had a friend come up to me a couple weeks ago and he said “I just really need you to pray for me. I know you pray for me already, so will you? I need some help here in this situation…” My response: HECK YES. Of course I will. I’m on it! I’ve often said I’m like my mom. When my mom prays for things, stuff happens. And by stuff, I don’t mean like “oh, this situation just happened the way I needed it to”… I mean “Holy moly, the ONLY WAY this situation could have worked out this way is BECAUSE OF JESUS… Mom has been praying”… I can pray that way for my friends. But when it comes to me… there’s a disconnect. I got some clarity on this yesterday in church. I have a hope problem because my hope isn’t where it needs to be. When we place our hope in anything but Jesus, we are essentially hopeless. We start to get worried, anxious, fearful, and putting ourselves through ridiculous, trivial things that none of us should be going through. Did you know hope is, by definition, the expectation that something good is coming? Seriously. That’s what hope is. That no matter what my situation looks like, or what I’m facing, OR WHETHER OR NOT I’VE SEEN ANYTHING COMING MY WAY,  there is good coming for me. That’s who God is. My problem is placing my hope in myself of course but it’s also because my emotions have decided to run wild and they aren’t in alignment with what I truly believe. If I say I believe that God is my provider, then my emotions that tell me “God won’t have a job for you. You’ll be poor and homeless and back in Tulsa with your parents” can’t have a place in my mind. If I truly were to listen to the people, the nay-sayers if you will, in my life who constantly question my sexual preference because I’m almost 30 and still single, my emotions would constantly be stressed to the max. Yes, I’m single. Yes, I’m almost 30 (THANK GOD FOR NEW BEGINNINGS, AM I RIGHT?!) and Yes, I’m a woman waiting for the man God has set for me. I don’t think there’s a problem with that. I don’t think there is a problem with a woman being so sure in who she is in Christ that she steps out in her calling and makes a move. I’m not perfect, but I know for a fact, beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m meant to be in Norman and meant to be at OU and meant to be at my church. Imagine if we listened to all the voices who don’t align their voices with God… Can you imagine how much more messed up we would be?? I’d rather listen to Jesus who knows me through and through, the good, the bad, and the ugly, than listen to every slanderous and ridiculous statement that people say. 

So here is me aligning my emotions and thoughts with my Savior:

I am a child of God, saved with a purpose and marked for such a bright and glorious future.
I am surrounded on all sides by a God who loves me and considers me first, even when I fail him and consider him last.
He is my provider. The one who sees all, who knows all, and before I even take a step, he has my path well designed.
He is with me always. I may feel alone, but I’m never alone. I’ve found the one whom my soul loves and cherishes. I’ve found someone who is better than any person on this planet. I’ve found such a love that I cannot even explain. When I feel so confused or hurt or broken, he is right there, walking with me through it all.
He has someone for me. I may not know who he is, or where he is, but that’s not a problem. If the God of the universe cares for me and every detail of my life, then he cares the same for the man he has for me. Why should I worry about that? He knows what my heart needs more than I do and I’m so thankful.
He has my finances. If he is truly my provider, then he knows what job I need. He knows what people I need around me. He knows where I am going to be stationed. He knows. He truly knows and cares about me to do this.
I’m not second choice, third choice, or more. I’m first choice to him. Before I ever chose him, he saw me, named me, formed me and shaped my heart. Gave me all these incredible gifts to use and serve people. He knew every decision I would make and still loves me even if those decisions were wrong. He’s caught every tear I’ve ever cried. He’s treasured every laugh. He’s heard every song I’ve ever sung and every word I’ve ever written on paper. He’s held me when I’ve felt so awkward and alone. He’s led me when no one has been there to lead me. He’s challenged me when I’ve gotten comfortable. He’s allowed the waves to get a bit higher for me, all the while still right next to me, grasping my hand.
He wants me to be so Unreasonably Optimistic that I take him at his word. His word is life to our bones. His word is full of promises that are supposed to set us apart from the world. We are supposed to be so unreasonably optimistic that when issues come up or problems or whatever, that we can look at them, and say “Yeah, I see that, but my God is bigger. He’s greater and I believe what he says about me. I believe that everything I need, he will provide. I believe in the midst of trial, he’s my advocate. I believe I’m covered by his love and favor and anyone who comes against me, comes against God. This isn’t my battle. It’s God’s.” <Can you imagine?? If we all started speaking faith and hope like this in every situation? Man, the world would change…>

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a God who loves his children so so much that he is absolutely willing to do anything, anything,  for his kids. That’s the God I serve. The God who makes me so unreasonably optimistic that it seems fake to everyone else. I love people, and I love them so well that some, who have never experienced Jesus, probably think I’m a liar or fake or whatever and that’s ok. My job isn’t to convince anyone that I am who I am. My job is just to love people and by doing so, I hope they are able to see Jesus in me.

So from here on out, if there’s a struggle in your mind and heart and there’s conflict, go to God. Find where the conflict is and speak truth to it. Laugh in the face of the lie and speak truth…and get on the path of being so unreasonably optimistic that people are convinced you’re crazy and want to join you on this journey.