//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.

ONES UP

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




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//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.


//linds the adventurer: part 2//

Step 1: Say yes.

Step 2: Expect the unexpected.

“Is this really happening? Dylan, Donovan… ARE WE REALLY GOING TO FLORIDA? ARE WE REALLY DOING THIS? GOING TO ORLANDO FOR THE WEEKEND?!”

I need you all to understand something: I don’t do spur of the moment. I don’t do last minute. I don’t do anything out of the ordinary, of course, unless my friends call me and need me. But when it comes to my life and how I live, I just don’t do surprise and ‘shock and awe’ well. I don’t know why. I’m pretty sure as a child I was easy going… I tended to follow wherever the wind would blow. But, as I’ve grown into an adult, I’ve gotten away from that. I’ve become straight laced and probably more uptight (Yes, I said it) about my time. So when Dylan, Donovan and I were sitting in my living room, staring at computer screens, trying to get the best deals on flights, cars, and hotels, I was not looking back. I was not about to say no to any of it. I just clicked “confirm” and before I knew it, tickets were bought, a car was on reserve and a hotel for 2 nights booked. ((IS ANYONE ELSE THINKING WHAT ON EARTH WAS SHE THINKING??!?!))

It didn’t seem real until I was sitting on the plane… actually, it didn’t feel real until we walked out of the airport to the rental car/baggage claim.

Now, like I said, I don’t do spur of the moment or surprises well. I don’t. They make me nervous and make me feel like a clown is going to pop out of nowhere and scare the living hell out of me. I used to like clowns until I was flipping channels at the ripe age of 7 and saw that scary clown IT or whatever they call it. It was downhill from there… HAH! Anyway, surprises scare me. I had maybe mentioned this to Dylan and Donovan before, so when we were waiting in line for what I thought was a free rental car and the very nice gentleman said, “that will be $159.75 for 3 days”, my eyes grew wide. My mouth kind of hung open. I looked at Dylan and Donovan and the both of them said “It’s ok, Linds. We can redo our plans to make this fit in our travel budgets. We can do this”. Their encouragement was like a breath of fresh air. I handed over my card and said “give me a pen. I’m signing”. We get our things and go to the car. We start driving. And it gets even more real! We were in Florida.

My #baes...the ultimate Valentine's Dates...

My #baes…the ultimate Valentine’s Dates…

Dylan had a plan. We were going to surprise his precious parents (oh my lord, you guys don’t even know how precious Sharon and Michael are…like I can’t handle the sweetness of this family) in Magic Kingdom. Like I’ve said before, I’m a Disney freak. I’ve been to Disney World 4 times and each time I’ve watched my mom and dad plan out our working plan. I’ve observed how to work the lines and which sides of the parks you want to hit and at what time. I’ve got the Disney App on my phone and every once in awhile, I’ll check it just because I need to know what’s happening at my home away from home. When we got in Magic Kingdom, the smell of sugar and springtime hits you in the face. It’s like sniffing happiness and magic. You are overwhelmed with this thought that anything you wish will come true. My first stop, obviously, was to get my Minnie Mouse ears…because any upper twenty-something in her favorite place needs ears. It’s not official until you get ears. The other favorite about this trip…Donovan had never been to Disney before. Y’all want to know what it’s like to see pure happiness and bliss and excitement and pure appreciation–take a friend who’s never been to Disney to Main Street and make them stand in the middle of Main Street and take in the sight that is Cinderella’s Castle.

WHAT IS HAPPENING...

WHAT IS HAPPENING…

Donovan having his moment on Main Street U.S.A.

Donovan having his moment on Main Street U.S.A.

Never too old...

Never too old…

We found Dylan’s parents in Frontierland and I was the trusty videographer. Of course, I’m pretty sure my height worked against this plan, but I got the jist of the excitement of seeing Sharon and Michael’s face light up upon seeing their son surprise them. Honestly, I have the best friends in the world and to be included in this outing made me cry. There’s always a time to say yes and go on an adventure. When you do, the feelings you experience are very real and priceless. You can’t expect to be a tough guy or girl when in Disney. I blame Walt for that. It’s like he dreamed this world up with the purpose of making the most manly of men and the strongest of women to crumble upon seeing Cinderella’s castle up close. I’m so glad I don’t take myself so seriously that I miss those moments to let my walls down a little.

Now, I could go on and on about this first day. We rode rides. We ate the best food. We laughed. We cried. We went on Splash Mountain when it was dark out and getting cold and got completely soaked. We sat right in front of Cinderella’s castle and cried as the fireworks went off and Tink flew out from the top tower of the castle. But I have to say, my favorite moment… Was meeting Maddox from the @disneybunch instagram account. If you don’t know who that precious boy and his family is, go look him up now. I was just telling my parents the night before about him and then Dylan and Donovan that morning how badly I wanted to meet Maddox. And guess what… Before we left Frontierland for the millionth time, Dylan’s eyes grow wide and I look to where he’s looking and there, in all his pudgy cuteness dressed as John Darling, is Maddox…

Uhhh we're starstruck...

Uhhh we’re starstruck…

Trying to calm down enough to take a picture...

Trying to calm down enough to take a picture…

CRYING BECAUSE IT HAPPENED...

CRYING BECAUSE IT HAPPENED…

This is what Disney does. It makes adults become like kids again. It makes you walk around with no agenda, no worry about what you left at home, no fear that you look like a total idiot crying over a 3 or 4 year old dressed as John Darling. Again… you just have to expect that unexpected surprises are around every corner and if you’re too uptight about making your next FastPass ride, you could miss them.

You know, a lot of things took me by surprise (be looking for Part 3) but this trip taught me that I only get this life, this moment with my friends and family once. ONE SHOT. Looking back at my life, I’ve done wonderful things with my life, but not a lot of adventuring. I want to adventure as much as possible. I want to do spur of the moment. I want to cry because I’m so freaking happy to be with the people I’m with and take that moment in. If you only live this life once, why are you waiting to start living? You should start, because soon, you’ll realize just how old you really are and how much time has been wasted wishing you did these spur of the moment things…

So, take it from me, someone who doesn’t do surprises, or spur of the moment well, and expect the unexpected. Just plan something and go with the flow.

FAMILY TIME...

FAMILY TIME…

//linds the adventurer: part 1//

I am a creature of habit. I live by what my calendar says and by what time the alarm clock goes off in the morning. I live like an adult. It’s how I’m wired, ya know? I’ve never been one to just say yes at the drop of hat to fun things. Going into 2016, one of the things I told the Lord was that I want to do things I normally would say no to. I was tired of being boring. I looked at my life and up until this point, the most daring thing I’ve done is move to Norman. NORMAN. IT’S NOT EVEN A HUGE MOVE! But, that was it. I looked even further back through pictures and was surprised that I didn’t have more photos to commemorate the accomplishments I’ve done. I don’t have photos with my friends, or life group, or even from when my family would come to town. So, I made up my mind, that if the opportunity presented itself and if I had the funds to just get out of town or go to a concert, or change something about myself, I’d do it. I would do it and not think about what I would miss back at home, but I would relish the fact that I did something so far outside my comfort zone. Here’s a simple example: I’ve had my hair the same way for awhile now… So last week, I added bangs. And you know what? I felt a little bit more confident. Amazing what something simple like adding bangs can do for you… 🙂

before the hair change...

before the hair change…

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and after… 🙂

Well, it happened.

If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know I am a freak about all things Disney. I love Disney movies, the songs, every character, EVERYTHING… I love Disney World. I love Disneyland. I want to live in Cinderella’s castle and pretend its my kingdom. Weird? I don’t care. I guess I blame my parents for raising me as a kid with a wild imagination. My parents never hindered the creative process. When they heard me talking to myself while I played with Barbies or my Disney figurines, they never told me to stop. In fact, they’d probably join in with me. My mom never told me any of my stories were unrealistic or silly. She told me to keep drawing and creating! And my favorite childhood memories revolve around going to the movies at the movie theater. My mom and dad took me to see Bambi and Little Mermaid. My dad took me on one of our father/daughter dates to see The Jungle Book and all I remember is getting to ride in the front seat of dad’s Infinity G20, listening to Billy Joel. I remember watching Disney movies with my parents and loving every minute. The first time I walked through the gates at Disney World, I was 10 years old and I still remember wanting to sprint up Main Street U.S.A. and just stare at Cinderella’s Castle. The best part was, my mom planned our trip and got us reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table. We got to go inside the castle and meet all the characters and eat breakfast with them. I remember the weeks before our Disney trip and Jess and I decorating manila envelopes with “Money for Disney World” on it. All our chore money went toward that trip. I know we probably stressed my parents out more than they would admit, but I remember the feeling of walking into the parks like it was yesterday. I remember the day we left as the saddest day I’d ever witnessed.

That’s the magic of Disney. So, now, being 29, and trying to make myself adventure a little bit more, when one of my best friends, Dylan,  called me and my friend Donovan and explained he found cheap tickets to Orlando for the weekend, my instant response was “YES. Don’t care how much it costs… I’m going!” I think I even surprised myself because I NEVER DO THAT! I never just say “Ok, sure. Let’s spend money and go to Orlando and stay at a cheap hotel and go to the happiest place on earth”. I was surprised and better yet, I felt so peaceful saying yes. It probably sounds crazy that I find this whole weekend kind of spiritual, but I do.

As we drove to Dallas at 4am on Friday, February 12th, I was listening to a song that we’ve been singing for the last couple weeks at church. Part of the song simply says “You have given everything my heart could ever need and all you ask is I believe. So I am resting safe inside your promise to provide and nothing could ever change your love, you love for me”. This trip is symbolic for many reasons (yep, many. That’s why this is part 1). As I was driving, I realized God has always given me everything I’ve ever needed. He always provides. He always has my best in mind and he never asks me to do anything but believe. He just wants me to believe… What I keep realizing is that I have control issues. I have issues believing something so simple when I know it to be true! I have issues with the simple “I believe you Jesus” part. Why is it so tough for me to just say “yes, Jesus. Whatever you have for me, I’m ready. Let’s do this”. You know, when I was less of an adult, the saying yes part wasn’t hard at all. I just jumped at the chance and did it. Mission trip for an extended amount of time? OK! DONE. Sign me up. Packing food boxes for the hungry? Yes please. Want to volunteer for church events, the worship team and youth group? I will rearrange my schedule to do it all. But now that I’m approaching 30, it’s like I’ve lost the simplistic yes. So moral of the story: no matter how old you are, you should be able to say yes to the opportunities Jesus places in front of you. Will it be hard? maybe. Will it make you feel a little different? probably so. But, will Jesus provide for you every step of the way and walk with you through it all even if you have panic/anxiety attacks? You better believe it.

So step 1 of being a better adventurer: just say yes.

me? saying yes to an adventure? DEFINITE MIRACLE.

me? saying yes to an adventure? DEFINITE MIRACLE.

//the former things…//

You know those moments in your life where you were a child and there was no limit to how high your imagination would take you? You could dream it and it would happen. You could think it and there was no stopping you. You could dream and dream and dream for hours on end and nothing would change. There was nothing standing in your way. There was no one there to tell you your dreams were dumb or irrelevant or never going to happen. There was nothing and no one to take away that childlike faith in the process of creativity and dreams. 

I’ve been on a journey and it’s been one where I’ve felt like I’ve let go of some things I dreamed about doing. I decided I am going to share some of those things with you all in hopes that we can do some damage control and get back the former things people stole from us. So here goes…

  1. Marriage. I know you may be thinking “geez… it’s not that big a deal. It’ll happen when it happens, Linds”. I know you’re right. But when you have people making jokes about your singleness, laughing at the thought that there’s no one at your church they could match you with, or even calling into question your sexuality, it hurts and because it hurts, you let it go. You think, I must need to lower my standards to find someone because obviously there’s no one that will meet my criteria of man I’m looking for. I’m going to be 30 this upcoming year. 30. I’ve never been more excited for a new decade before. My 20s were full of hurt, dumb decisions and the awareness that my humanity is vulnerable to other humans thoughts, comments and opinions. Marriage is important to me. I have dreamed of being a wife and mother since I was a 4 year old girl. I know the Lord cares about me and cares about my dreams and desires because he put them there. So, here’s to the possibility that meeting a nice, Christian guy at church. It could happen.
  2. Kids. I love kids. I love spending time with them and listening to their wild stories and imaginations. I love singing with them, reading books that I have memorized backwards and forwards, coloring, and challenging them to dream bigger. I love spending time with children because if you tell them “hey, I think I want to go to the moon” they will look at you and say “that’s awesome. You know what would be cooler? Going to Mars. Mars would be awesome AND that’s where the martians live. Get it? Mars? Martians? Yeah, I’d go to Mars” (based on a true conversation I had with a 5-year-old). Kids don’t care. They don’t care how lofty your dream is…they will dream with you and they’ll make your dream sound silly and small! I have always dreamed of my children… I have fluctuated between wanting 2 to a house full. But I know I for sure want a boy and a girl. I want to teach them how to love Jesus, how to care for others, how to believe and have faith, and obviously why we love OU football. I have this dream and believe that it will come to pass. I also want to adopt. I don’t care from what country, I just want open my home and heart to any child that needs  a family.
  3. Dream Job. Do you know what it’s like to stumble (literally…not even kidding) into what your calling is? For years, I struggled trying to fit in a mold that wasn’t for me. I was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. When I discovered counseling it was like a weight had been lifted…no, like the blindfold that had been over my eyes had been taken off! It was so freeing to read material and absolutely know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I could implement this in everyday life. I could use this and I could help someone! I started reading material that I enjoyed and wanted to spend time reading for hours on end. When I started dreaming about being in practice and having an office of my own and working with clients to get them operating at their most healthy level, I was met with mostly yeses and “oh, you would be so great at that”‘s. But the ones closest to me told me I should re-evaluate, look at how much time I really had and essentially, dream smaller. That caused me so much confusion. I then thought, “well, maybe they’re right. What if I can’t do this? What if grad school is too hard and too time consuming? What if no one wants my help?” The only way to silence the lies…bring truth to the equation. The truth was, I was not where I wanted to be. I had found something that was like a hidden talent I didn’t know I had and I didn’t want to hide that! My dream job is working as a therapist for kids, teens and adults who have been through trauma and feel like there’s no hope for them. I want to love the unlovable and show them Jesus. I want to have an office that when you walk through those doors, you’re met with peace and it envelopes you like a blanket. I want to pass my NCE and make this dream a reality. And truth be told…I’m more than half way through my graduate program and after 3 semesters and 2 summer sessions, I’ll be an OU graduate with 24 hours of post-grad before taking my exam. Y’all, out of all my dreams, this one is the closest to actually happening.
  4. Health. I’m 5’5. I’m curvy. I’m blonde and have green eyes. I’ve weighed as much as 250 pounds and as little as 135. I’ve found that healthy doesn’t look the same on everyone. Healthy on you maybe 130 with wonderful muscle tone. For me, my healthy is 168, size 10 jeans and large t-shirts. It’s not disgusting to be a woman with curves and muscle. It’s not a bad thing to have more “meat” on your bones. I’ve worked myself into a frenzy trying to be the “fit one” of my family.  I had friends that I always felt I needed to look “good” for because they didn’t want to have a “fat friend”. I saw a picture of myself this weekend that made me incredibly sad. I have been working on eating better and trying to figure out the time where I can get in the gym. That hard work was covered up by the over sized t-shirt I was wearing. I looked fat. I looked at my sisters in the picture and they look beautiful, while I looked like frump girl. I don’t dream of walking down runways at fashion week, but I do dream of waking up comfortable in my own skin. I dream of waking up and not caring who I see, not caring if someone I see will think I’m pretty. I dream of being confident and knowing who I am is exactly who I’m supposed to be. I dream of being the healthiest woman I can be and knowing that there’s a guy out there who will think that’s attractive…and you know what… that’s not a bad thing at all. So I will keep working until I achieve that.
  5. Singing. I’ve always loved to sing. Loved it. Have I been good? No way. My poor parents. I would sing at the top of my little lungs and my mom said it was like I was tone deaf. She told me she would try to find a nice way to ask me to sing quietly, but I always got my feelings hurt (HAH! That doesn’t sound like me at all…oh wait…). My mom said there was one day that she heard me singing and that something had changed… something was different. I was on pitch. I was matching the pitch I was hearing and that had never been the case. As I got older, I stuck with singing in choir and leading worship in my church and I continually worked hard at getting better. No one wants to sing badly. Every person who sings or plays an instrument wants people to hear them and think they can do it. I have taken more lessons than I can count. I’ve learned classical arias. I’ve mimicked the greats like Celine, Mariah, Christina, Adele and Barbra. I’ve tried my hardest to push my limits. I’ve practiced scales until I was hitting notes only dogs could hear. But none of that matters unless I’m using that gift. I was in church yesterday and had an epiphany. I am more me when I’m worshiping with arms wide open and heart abandoned. I’m more myself when I am just worshiping Jesus. I’m not the best worship leader by any means. In fact, I have A LOT of room for improvement. But the only way I can improve is to use my time wisely and when it’s me and Jesus, I need to worship. I have to worship. I have to use that time to set my heart and mind on him and when the opportunity comes, I will lead with all I’ve got. I’m thankful for my church….more on that in a second. Point is, when it comes time to worship, do it knowing that this is the moment God longs for…just you and him.
  6. Church. I grew up in church. It was because of my parents that I have a relationship with Jesus and the importance they placed on faith being a central piece of who the Davis family is. We changed churches a few times when I was growing up. But every time we did, my sisters and I made friends and got to know the leaders of our youth group and got involved as quick as we could. I’ve had some wonderful experiences at the churches I’ve had the opportunities to lead at. I’ve been under fabulous leaders who have helped shape me into the leader I am today. But with every change, came a little hurt. Youth pastors got their feelings hurt when we would leave. They would take it so personally, when really, we were following my parents leading. My parents never made a church decision without praying fervently, asking the Lord for direction. When you’re a teenager, you don’t get to ask your dad why. At the family meeting (yes, we did have Davis family meetings), you could ask why, but if dad said “your mom and I feel like this is where the Lord is leading us”, you took that and said “yes sir. We understand.” It wasn’t always up for discussion. Sure tears were shed, but at every new place, there were people there who almost knew us before we knew them. It was like God knew exactly what Jess, Hailey and I needed before we did. That’s why I’ve learned the importance of trusting that leading. One of my favorite moments in my church life has been finding Antioch. When I came to Norman, I was terrified. I didn’t tell anyone that. I just put the brave face on and let my parents leave my new city without crying until I close the door watching them leave. I didn’t have a church. I didn’t know my way around without my dad driving me around. I visited one church and felt ok about it, but was still uneasy. It was a cold Saturday night in January when I drove down Lindsey Street and saw the Antioch sign. I turned into the parking lot and started to cry. “I don’t know. God, what if they don’t like me? What if there is no one here for me? What if I’m the lone loser who walks in and immediately feels intimidated? What if…” The quietest answer came through my tears and said “but what if you walk in and find so much more? What if this is where I’ve intended you to be? What if joining this family is exactly what you need? What if you trust me?” I’m so glad I did. I walked through the doors and immediately felt like people knew me. People cared about me. Someone walked me into the sanctuary and made sure I had people around me. Someone talked with me about life groups. Someone, or several someones, talked to me and made sure I felt a part of the family. That was it for me. I wept through worship. I hadn’t been in an atmosphere of worship like that in ages. The tangible presence of Jesus was all around me and I wept. Having been on a journey of dreaming and seeing some of my most important dreams disappear, having the dream of a church that not only meets needs, but puts you in a place to help meet someone else’s needs was at the top of my list. The dream of a church actually being a family and working together with other churches and not competing… that dream has always been in my heart. I’m so glad I found a place that fits that. I could go on and on about Antioch and someday I will, but last night I asked the Lord to just confirm some things for me. “God, I just need to know that there’s a yes somewhere for me. That I haven’t missed you…” There was a prophecy given last night and Tulsa was mentioned. My one fear of graduating so fast and early has been that I will have no choice but to leave Norman and move back to Tulsa. My one fear is that all I’ve found here in Norman, specifically my church family, will disappear and I won’t find that anywhere. Within the words that were given Tulsa was mentioned. Tears streamed down my face. That’s all I needed. Someday, Antioch is going to make it’s way to Tulsa and Tulsa will never be the same. And that’s what I dream about at night.

This is just the beginning of a very long list of “former things” that I know are going to happen. I know the verse in Isaiah 43:18-19 says to forget the former things…do not dwell on the past. But, I do believe that there are dreams that have been planted in us and sometimes those things get forgotten or trampled on and it causes us to “forget” them. I think when God spoke these verses he also included those former things having new life breathed into them. I feel as though God is saying “You may have forgotten those things, but I never have and I never will. I’m going to breathe my life into that dead thing… It’s going to have new life. It’s going to be new and fresh and you won’t be able to deny my life reviving spirit at work in your life… That’s how I work”. So, the former things you think have died, they’re going to have new life. I hope you’re ready for that moment, because when it happens, you won’t be able to stop the things that God has placed in motion.

What are your former dreams? What are your former things that you’ve let go? Think it over. Pray about it and watch God work in you…

Linds

//Semester 2 of #gradschool//

I feel as though July came and went! How is it September?! WHAT? I hoped and prayed I would make it through August and I am more than thrilled to say I did. I’ve worked myself into a somewhat more managed schedule and with the help of friends, coffee, and my little sister Hailey, I have held it together somewhat better than last semester.

There’s been so much that’s happened, I couldn’t just write about it. I have to show you. So enjoy the journey through the last couple of weeks…

  1. When your sister sends you this, you may cry because you realize just how grown up she really is. ((I did cry and then I was laughing because it brought a sense of relief to my, at the time, anxiety ridden heart))

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2. Her last day in Tulsa happened to be one of the biggest weeks in this current position I hold as a Graduate Resident Director here at OU. She moved in during Panhellenic move in day, which was crazy. I woke up before the sun, had no coffee until it was too late and then had my wonderful family in town, who probably saw me a little more beat down than excited. I have since apologized and we have all recovered. ((Well, they have recovered. I am still trying to pull it together to get through this semester on minimal sleep)).

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3. RUSH. Have you all ever rushed a sorority? Because if you have, my hats off to you. I don’t think I could do it. It was hard enough asking a friend to be my roommate at ORU and to ask to be on the “cool girl wing”. I watched Hailey go through the highs and lows of recruitment, which if anyone tells you it’s an absolute blast, they are lying to you. Hailey held it together so well and ended up right where she needed to be. But I remember after her first heartbreak, we planned and started our first Sunday night tradition: pizza night. We went to Hideaway and then she said “I need to get some things. I’ll wait til mom and dad get here though.” This was my response…

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**I bought her all her things… 🙂

4. Bid Day. It’s a big deal. After the week of hell you’ve gone through, waiting on pins and needles for that knock on the door and that final piece of paper with your new sisterhood on it… OH MY GOD, it makes me want to break out in hives just thinking about it. But watching your little sis run over the hill to South Greek is one heck of an experience. Seeing all the joy and relief escape for just a brief little bit makes the whole family breathe a little easier. I’m so proud of Hailey and I’m so thankful she’s here in Norman with me.

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5. Class of 2019. Y’all. OU just admitted it’s largest class ever, which I know is cliche because every year it’s the biggest class. But this year, 4200 kids left their parents and made the jump to college life here in Norman. I’ve had the opportunity to meet lots of them working move in, and I’m excited to see what comes of this class. I’m sure that’s said every year, but I mean it. I’m working in residence life, which is great, but when you’ve never done that before it’s intimidating. I’m surrounded by people who know way more than I do. Mostly, I sit and smile and nod my head but I have no idea what my colleagues are talking about. Needless to say, this group is one of the most diverse and definitely has huge things ahead of it. So cool to be apart of it.

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6. Class of 2016. If y’all would’ve told me that I would enter grad school and then spend a year working my butt off to earn 36 hours of credit to graduate and do it all in 3 semesters and 2 sessions of summer school, I would’ve laughed. Because it sounds like a joke. It sounds like it can’t be done. I posted a picture today of me and my dad when I was probably 2 or 3 years old. I’m sitting in the front seat, wearing a sweatsuit decorated with OU all over it. I had to work hard to get good grades in school. I had to work hard to show myself approved. My dad and mom both can attest to this. When I was a Junior in High School, I had to sit in my guidance counselor’s office at the end of the year to prep my schedule and talk about college planning. My mom was with me and little did we know that we would sit there in that office with our mouths hanging open in disbelief. My guidance counselor had the audacity to hear my college plans, which I was so happy and excited about, and tell me that I wasn’t smart enough for college and that I should probably lower my standards. I couldn’t believe it. I was so sad. I felt defeated and had to go through a whole freaking year with this woman as my counselor. My mom walked with me to the car that afternoon and sat and cried with me. She then proceeded to do as she always had done…build me up. “Lindsay, don’t listen to that. You are smart. You work so hard. You are beautiful and you CAN and WILL DO whatever it is that God has for you, I have no doubt! Don’t you dare let one person determine your course. I can’t believe she said that. OUTLOUD. You’re going to college. You will graduate and you will do great things”. I went my entire senior year with that statement silently hanging over my head. It took me close to 7 or 8 years to finish my undergraduate degree. It took me 7 or 8 years to figure out what it was I was called to. I am so glad I stumbled into counseling. And knowing that in a short amount of time, I will be a Masters degreed female in the mental health field feels like a triumph in and of itself. This journey hasn’t been easy. Actually, it’s been really tough. It’s had it’s moments of pure bliss, but also sadness. You never really notice how alone you are until you’re 2 hours away from home, without your tour guide (my dad). But you wake up and you face the day. You don’t let the worry or fear of not having everything together stop you. You position yourself for what God wants to do and let Him move. I have been proud a few times in my life for different achievements throughout my life, but for picking up, moving to a new place, knowing no one and finding where I fit… I am so PROUD of this moment. I have learned what it means to stand by myself, to stand for what I believe in, to show the Love of Jesus when it would be easier to blend into the wallpaper, and I will never look back at this moment and despise it. I will always look back in thankfulness and love and absolute happiness. I hope that when I get married and have children that I can share this with my daughter (or daughters) and tell her that she doesn’t have to be scared about the future, but she can look at it with pride and joy. Moms and dads wait for the moments where they can share their experiences with their children. If you haven’t lately, you should. Your kids are waiting for your stories and your input in their lives. Share.

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I am thankful for this season I’m in. And I’m thankful for each of you. Thank you for journeying with me. And thank you for your prayers, your encouragement, and your love. It means more than you’ll ever know.

Linds

//on my own//

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Amy Poehler is a genius. She gets it. It’s like she gets me better than anyone else.

I’m on my own. I mean, I have been since I was about 26 when I moved out the first time, but I was in Tulsa still and obviously, my parents were close and near by if I ever needed anything or a safe place to hide as the tornado was heading toward Tulsa. Now, it’s different. I’m in Norman. I have no one close here, other than the precious friends I’ve made here.

Life is funny. Sometimes, things work. Family is close and if you’re nervous or scared or just experienced something insane, your family is a car ride away and you can spill it all out. Then, Life can be kinda mean. There’s no one close by and the car ride that was maybe 20 minutes is now almost 2 hours away. There’s the phone but they don’t answer or text you back in a manageable amount of time. They have their own life and you are the outsider. It’s hard. Trust me. I get this more than the other person.

When I left Tulsa, I was in a dark place. I was very broken and was definitely letting my brokenness overtake who I was. I’m a pretty good actor and apparently had a lot of people fooled. 28 hasn’t been great. It’s been full of really hard and difficult things. The best thing about 28 has been leaving my comfort zone of Tulsa and starting fresh and clean in Norman, a place so special to the Davis family that my breath catches every time I’m walking on campus. I have made some of the best friends here and have found a church where I fit. Life is good again. Where being on my own scared me, now, I’m already planning out what is going to happen next. I’m not scared about leaving Oklahoma. I’m not scared about interviewing. I’m not worried about not being close to my family. I mean, a plane ride away is just like a car but it flies… (that was dumb… I’ll edit this part out later…)

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I left some wonderful people in Tulsa, but I also left some behind that I needed to be rid of. It’s amazing how things can change! It’s insane. I didn’t know what freedom and confidence I would find here and I wouldn’t have found it unless I had the guts to leave. I don’t know how long I will be here in Norman, but I relish every minute. I can’t believe I’m living this life. I don’t know why the Lord has blessed me in this way, but I’m so thankful and grateful he chose me for this moment in time. I like being on my own. In a weird way, I know I’m safe here in Norman and being away from here makes my heart hurt. It makes me feel like I’m going to miss out on something!

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I started my training today for my GA position. What?! I am a graduate assistant for the Housing and Food Services department here at OU. I am a Resident Director for HCSA and I’ll be working with students! I literally don’t know what I did to deserve such an opportunity. I have official business cards! I got 3 shirts that are so cool. I have a NAME PLATE! Guys, this is unreal. My first day was so fun. I can’t wait until tomorrow. I guess this little post is just to say, be confident being by yourself. Don’t get comfortable thinking you need a man, or friends, or something to fulfill that hole you may feel in your heart. Sometimes that hole is there because God is waiting for you to reach out to him for ultimate fulfillment. The moment I got real with Jesus and was crying in my bed before my first day of class was the moment my heart felt full. It was letting go of what I thought my life should look like (married, 2 kids, dream job, the car, the house, you get it) and grasped for what the Lord had for me-confidence in being who he created me to be, comfortable walking in my shoes, confidence speaking up for what I believe and what I know to be true, stepping back into my calling as a worshipper, being a good friend, and, this one I’m most proud of, knowing who I am isn’t dependent upon a man. Whether I get married or stay single, I am fulfilled. I am proud. I am no longer worried about what my life is going to look like. You know, one day, a wonderful guy will step into my life and my life won’t suddenly begin…it will continue on. If you are waiting for a man so your life can begin, you’re doing it wrong. Don’t wait for someone so your life can begin. Start living now! There’s something to be said about living out your dreams and passions and then allowing others to join you! So, stop worrying dear friend. Stop thinking you have nothing to offer. Start thinking about what you can do and get out on your own and don’t be scared! 🙂

Until later this week friends…

Linds