//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.

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//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




//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…

//lessons learned from the bachelor??//

Well, happy new year friends and family! It’s been a long couple of weeks/months. After my last post, I realized I need to take some time and just chill out. I can’t tell you how many times I had something written and then trashed it. Here’s to a new year, one that will be less chaotic (praise Jesus) and leading to the goal line… I graduate in May, but this is not what that is about. Let’s get down to business… If I’ve learned anything from reality television, it’s that there are real people inside these characters being shoved in our faces. It makes me think who would I be primped as? Would I be the good girl from Oklahoma who is solid and confident (yeah, I feel like this sometimes) or would I be the dumb blonde who is clumsy and even though she’s smart, she can come off kinda dumb (yep. This happens too)?? If I’ve learned anything from any reality TV show, I’ve learned the most from … you guessed it… The Bachelor.

Now, I do not speak as an expert and these opinions are my own, so take them or leave them. Let’s begin… Here are a few thoughts and lessons from Monday, January 10th’s episode.

Ben Higgins is The Bachelor

Ben Higgins is The Bachelor

I don’t pretend to have my life together. I have a life that looks really put together for sure but in reality, I’m 29, I’m trying to finish grad school with a 4.0 and I’m a GA and that alone is enough to drive me bonkers and quit caring about how my house looks. I’ve tried to be the girl every guy would want and you know where that landed me? In my sweats, on my couch with a glass (ok, maybe a bottle) of wine watching NBA games ALONE. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because guys aren’t looking for the girl a girl may think they want, but maybe they’re looking for that girl. You know, that girl. She’s confident, her hair is always flowing and never gets stuck in her lipgloss, her makeup is on POINT, her outfits are cool and the shoes always look great AND she doesn’t look down at people. She looks them straight in the face, admits her faults and laughs at herself! ((God, this girl sounds awesome…it’s not me…yet)). When I watch The Bachelor, I get mixed feelings. I get the analytical feelings that judge how the guy looks at every girl when she gets out of the limo. I get the nervous feelings when I see the girls loosing their edge. And then I get the self-righteous feelings, the ones where I want to insert claps in between words to emphasize my point because these girls start playing the mind game because they’re not longer that girl. 

The first week I watched The Bachelor in the company of my friends whom I call the Lunch Ladies. They gave themselves that moniker and I love it and secretly wish I was in the cool club. ((I’m second string and hoping to be initiated…)). We talked and laughed as we watched the night unfold. I was too busy thinking about someone else to really focus on the girls, but then I get to tonight. I feel like Bachelor Nation set this up perfectly for multiple lessons to be learned so here goes:

  1. Bachelor High. Wow. Kudos to you Bachelor Nation. You did it. Send the prettiest girls back to high school and make them compete. Do you know what high school was like for most of us? NOT FUN. There was no homecoming king waiting for me in high school. In fact, I had rumors swirling about me, saying I was “easy” (I was not… Actually, the guys were all my friends because they didn’t want to mess anything up for Sooner football games with my dad on the weekends), or that I was “a goody-goody who secretly wanted to be one of the popular kids”. I worked hard in high school. I actually transferred schools at the end of the freshman year to go to a very difficult, Christian, college-prep school. The thing was, all of the kids in my grade had been together since kindergarten. You try walking into that territory and try to fit in. I had to constantly compete for friendships. I had to get out of my comfort zone and talk to people and try to tell stories that were compelling and made me seem cool. I hated high school. When I graduated I didn’t look back. I moved forward. Watching the girls compete against each other tonight just brought back memories of pairing off with the cool girls and hoping they wouldn’t notice my Payless shoes with my consignment skirt and off brand Ralph Lauren oxford. If The Bachelor wanted to show how girls really were in high school, they did a good job, even till the end, where Mandy (the crazy dentist) had to race the girl who was on her team! That’s messed up…and so high school.
  2. Cheap dates. I loved this idea. Sometimes the most fun date can be cheap and just driving around talking. Sure, I love being shown that I’m appreciated by flowers and chocolates and a nice dinner, but what I enjoy more is simplicity. I love being in jeans and a hoodie, hair a mess, no makeup and just being with the person. You don’t even have to talk to me… just sit next to me and watch a movie, or basketball game or whatever and that’s it. Girls, maybe The Bachelor was showing us that we don’t have to be so concerned with the glitz to have a good time. I mean, Caila’s night did end listening to a personal concert with Amos Lee (the way to my heart would be Johnnyswim, but whatever), but after all the fun and cheap stuff, the memories you walk away with are the most important. Give me cheap dates any time!
  3. LoveLab and smell tests. First of all, if you’re taking me to a freaking love lab where I get hooked up to these machines that “show me how compatible we are” you’re outta your mind! You put it out there that there’s some formula to see if we’re going to end up together is asking for trouble! Which is what happened to my girl Sam. You freaking announce to the whole crew she got a 2 point whatever score and say “it’s the lowest compatibility rating…” and then have a stone cold fox like Olivia who is put together and seemingly perfect and SHE KNOWS IT hear that… it’s over. Love Labs sounds great, but this is not reality. This is a fallacy disguised as something special and powerful. And can we talk about the “power of smell”?? I do not want some dude smelling me after I’ve been walking around outside and trying to pretend I’m glistening when I’m really sweating because let’s face it, I step outside and it always looks like I just got out of a swimming pool. I’m not a pretty sweater. I do not glisten. I sweat like a boy! I would’ve died if a cute guy like Ben was sniffing my neck or hips… HIPS?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Dude, if you want to smell me, please smell me when I am freshly showered and my hair has been fixed and I have product in it. GIRLS… THIS IS NOT REALITY. The way you smell is going to tell a guy if you’re made for each other? No. What about communication? What about honesty? What about snorting when you laugh or almost spitting your food out because you want to answer a question he just asked? ((Those last 2 have happened to me… I know, I showed my cards way too early)). Smell tests and algorithms will only get you so far. Give me honesty and conversation any day.
  4. “I know I’m coming off like the crazy girl… The Crazy Lace came out…” Ladies, whenever you say the word crazy describing yourself, you are giving others the permission to use that word to describe you. Lace… Oh, Lace… Girlfriend. You have just made it ok for the entire Bachelor Nation to call you crazy. Crazy is a word that the connotations are usually attributed to someone who is not mentally stable. I want to believe that Lace is fully mentally aware. Every time she uses “crazy” describing herself, a part of me wants to find her and tell her “LACE. SNAP OUT OF IT. GET SOME WATER AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. CALM THE HELL DOWN!” Girls, if a guy isn’t making eye contact with you, or isn’t talking to you as much doesn’t mean he’s not interested. It could mean a million different things, but it doesn’t give you permission to use the “crazy” girl card and get his attention that way. Ladies we have to get past this “if I do this, he’ll answer me” or “if I look like this, he’ll definitely text me back”. That’s manipulation. If you want to win your man by manipulating him, great. It’s not going to last long. If you desire a long, lasting relationship built on truth and honesty, then put the damn work in. If a guy doesn’t like the honest version of yourself, the true you, then LET HIM GO. He’s not worth it. If a guy makes you feel less than the woman you are, WALK AWAY. DELETE HIS NUMBER AND MOVE ON. I would rather be single and confident and aware of what I am looking for in someone than to be manipulating a guy into going on dates with me. We have to stop manipulating people and start being real.
  5. “This…I thought this was going to be something, but this is really hard”. Sam. Like I said, Sam is my girl. She gets it. For once, The Bachelor showed a true and vulnerable response to rejection at a rose ceremony. Through tears, Sam looked at the camera and said “this just… this is just really hard”. I want to believe that she was meaning that for more than just that moment. I want to believe she was speaking to the entire experience of being single. Girls, I know about being single. I know what it feels like to go out with seemingly great guys who later call you intimidating and then blame you for not talking to them anymore, when they were the ones who never made an effort to reach out to you. I know what it feels like to be on a date and see another girl pop up on his phone and him completely stop talking to you to answer her. I know what it feels like to have a match.com profile and only hear from men who are OVER 50 and say horrible things I would never repeat out loud. I know what it feels like to have a guy you think means something to you and have him look you in the face and say “yeah, this was fun, but we should just go back to being friends. Oh, and there’s someone else. So thanks for being there for me while I figured this out”. Yeah, and that happened twice. TWICE. I’ve had my heart broken in a million pieces and have had to scrape the pieces into a pile and try to figure out how to move forward. I want to believe Sam was speaking to that part of a girl’s world where the guys are not always princes and the girls you’re surrounded by are actually wolves in sheep’s clothing. Being single sucks sometimes, but sometimes, being single is the absolute best thing you can experience. It’s a contradiction-it’s something you want so badly to change, but you don’t want it to change because you love your life with your girls. It’s wanting the kisses and connection but also knowing ‘ehhh, if I never talked to him again, I’d be ok’. It’s the wanting so badly to love someone and be loved back but loving having a career and life more. Sam is right! Life is hard… but it’s what we make it. Sure, you can cry and kick and scream, but in the end, girlfriend, you were on TV! You were cute and fun and so sweet and YOU WERE NORMAL… Sam didn’t try to do anything different than be herself and I salute her for that. But, she’s right. It’s so hard to not succumb to the world’s view of “if you’re not what he’s looking for, just change… morph into that woman he wants and you’re good!”. What we can takeaway from Sam’s words… Life isn’t always going to be rosy and fun, it’ll probably suck more than we want it to, but on the other side of those suckfest moments is something worth your time… Stick it out. Eventually, the hard part of being single will turn into the hard part of not being single because you like the guy so much ((and ps-he likes you too)).

The Bachelor is a seemingly useless show where 28 women get in one room and basically go hunger games on each other and one ends up the champ… Can I just say, I’m so glad I’m not on The Bachelor? I would be the girl who would be all “can I go change? Can I wear sweatpants to the cocktail party? Can I read a book instead of listen to these dummies talk about how he’s their husband?” Honestly, I’ll take the ridiculous dating scene over a TV show any day. 🙂

~Linds

//let’s talk: don’t ever settle…//

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Processed with VSCOcam with s4 preset

I haven’t done a “let’s talk” post in awhile, but this one needs to be talked about. I feel like there are people, both guys and girls, who are sitting at their desks wondering what in the world they are doing. They’re thinking about what’s to come. They’re thinking about their future and whether or not they’ll meet someone, and not just anyone but the right one. Here are my thoughts on the matter.

I’m a glass half full girl. I’m always pretty positive when it comes to the future. I love people. I love having conversations with people of all walks of life. I love listening to their stories and being able to hear through all the “noise” what the heart of the matter is. I guess I’ve always been a good listener, but I didn’t realize how good until I started my counseling grad program. It’s a gift, I guess. I’ve never hidden my faith from anyone. I’ve never been one to hide what I believe. I was one of the fortunate ones who had the opportunity to go to a great college prep/Christian school when I was in High School. My senior year, my bible teacher was also the assistant youth director at my church and I had a great relationship with him and his wife. I remember Robb talking to me about the opportunities I’ll have to defend my faith and why it is important to study religions and know why I believe what I believe. I didn’t know that I would need that knowledge 10 years later. I’ve studied every religion. I know the differences between those religions and Christianity. I’ve been across the world and never had a conversation that made me feel like I was stupid or that what I believed was a “myth”…until last night.

Y’all know I have a dating profile on Match.com. It’s the new way of dating in the modern, busy world. I know some people may give me judgey eyes for that, but that’s fine. It’s not easy to find someone you click with and then make it happen organically. It’s really hard! When I decided to really try Match, I wrote out my profile several times. I read and re-read it and felt that I needed to really share what I’m looking for. I did. I unapologetically wrote out the specifics for what I’m looking for. I got matched with guys who were agnostic, atheist, “I’m not really sure what I believe” and so on. Every time I read that, I passed. I don’t have time to date guys who aren’t open and willing to talk about God. Why? Because I’m who I am because of Jesus. Anyone who doesn’t get that will always look at me like I pray to a Disney character who isn’t real. I had my first encounter with getting to know someone who I thought was pretty great. Everything lined up. Everything on paper looked great. I met this person over the OU/Texas weekend (terrible weekend by the way…HOW DID WE LOSE TO TEXAS? SERIOUSLY?!) I liked getting to see this person in real life and getting to laugh and hang out. It was fun. And then the other shoe dropped on me Sunday night.

I’m not a secretive person. I’m terrible at keeping secrets. Hailey and I purchased Johnnyswim tickets for Jess for her birthday and Hailey had to tell me over and over not to burst the surprise bubble because this is by far our best gift yet! I can’t keep secrets and when the “secret” in our nation is attributed to religion, gender, identity, whatever, I can’t keep secrets. I explicitly said who I was in my profile. So imagine my surprise and sinking regret when I hear from this seemingly wonderful guy that he’s agnostic and doesn’t care if I believe in anything at all. I was driving back to Norman and going 80mph when he said that. The air caught in my chest and I literally couldn’t speak. My mouth hung open… “Oh no…Why? Why this? This was fun until now…Now, I have to break it to this dude that this is never going to happen…”

Just like I hate keeping secrets, I also hate being the bearer of bad news. I did not want to tell this guy this would never develop into anything, but as the conversation progressed, I found myself defending my faith and finding that is exactly what I had to do. I’ve never been asked by anyone in my close friend circles what it is I believe and that’s because we’re like minded. We don’t think about asking each other “So, you still believe in Jesus even though you had an awful week?” No! It’s because our faith runs deeper than the surface emotions of day to day goings on. But when someone I’ve come to trust and like and have put an effort in to getting to know starts saying that I believe in myth and a “historical creature who isn’t alive”…the story changes. I go from being a calm and gentle girl to a very sure, very confident and very determined to share my case woman.

“It won’t change how I care about you… Come on Lindsay, don’t say it’s a deal breaker! It’s not! It’s just religion. Who cares? I’ll change for you! You’re everything I want in a girl I want to spend the rest of my life with…Don’t say it’s over”

You know, I was always jealous of the girls in the movies who had guys saying all these things to them. I thought “Wow, I wonder what it feels like to have a guy say that to you…” Well, I’m not jealous anymore. Hearing those things actually made me physically hurt. I’ve never known what it’s like to have to defend my faith and my relationship with Jesus. I’ve been all over the world, teaching and preaching the Gospel and never once had someone say to me “it’s just religion”. Hearing someone I was starting to care about say those things made me physically hurt and made my eyes well up with tears. It’s what rejection feels like. As much as this person was saying things lots of girls would love to hear, I wished I knew this beforehand because I would’ve avoided it all together. Yet, here I was, on the phone, listening to this person tell me why he doesn’t believe there’s a God or Satan, Heaven or Hell. He would chuckle every time I would come back with a reason why there is a God. I kept saying “I’m trying to understand where you’re coming from, but I can’t. Why weren’t you honest? Why would you indulge me and have these conversations with me about God when you don’t believe? This is such a huge part of who I am and I can’t not share this with someone I’m involved with”. Silence.

The point of this: I’ve waited almost 30 years for the right man to walk into my life. I’ve waited and invested in my personal growth and development so when that person shows up, I’m ready. I’ve put in all the work and continue to do so and won’t stop now. I’ve put in almost 30 years of trying to figure out who I am and what I believe and I’m not about to stop that development now because a cute guy who’s missing the key ingredient to making this a something is saying all the right things. 30 years is a long time to work on something. I’ve worked so hard to become a woman any guy in his right mind would be proud of having in his life. I’m not perfect, but I’ve worked really hard to become a person worthy of the calling God has placed on my life. I actually told this guy “If the reason I’m single is because of my relationship with Jesus, fine. I never want to get married then. I will choose Jesus every time”. He said “What? You can’t be serious!?” And I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life than when I said “you don’t know how serious I am right now. When it comes to a guy who doesn’t believe in anything and a relationship with a very real Jesus… Give me Jesus”. I will never settle. I will not let a guy come in between me and my Jesus. You should never feel like “well, if this is the best that’s out there, I guess I can forget this <insert specific attribute here>”. Hear me when I say this to you: if it’s important enough for you to have it on your list of what you’re looking for in the person you want to be with, it’s important to God. He cares about the big and small details in your life, even the details that don’t seem to be happening right at this moment.

Hang in there. Don’t ever settle. Don’t even consider settling. If settling is on the table, you’re at the wrong table. Get up. Move on. Because just when you think “what did I just do…”, something even better is on the horizon. Where you’re at right now… it’s really good to be here… 

Linds

//28 things about 28//

Hello friends…

I recently wrote this and then went back and got scared to post it. I finally talked myself back into it and edited this and then added more and then took some out. All in all, I think I’ve come up with a list that mimics what 28 has meant to me. Age is just a number, but this number has done some work on me this year. I’ve never been more excited for a new year. So, I hope you read this and hear my heart and understand where I’m coming from. 🙂

Linds Jo

I’m a list maker, you all know this. So to commemorate my birthday month (and Harry Potter’s), I’ve compiled a list of 28 things you should know about 28. So, prepare yourself.

1. Do something that scares you. I started a business. I did. Despite all you haters who talk MAJOR SMACK about Rodan and Fields, I’m having a blast earning extra money and not spending a bunch of money on makeup! This was scary to me because there are so many people hating on having a business. You’re unhappy with where you’re at and I almost let that person keep me from doing this? You crazy? Y’all. Find that opportunity and take it. Do the scary thing and just commit.

2. Move. Please, please, PLEASE don’t wait too long to move somewhere. I’m 28 years old and it took all I had within me to step out and do what I felt I needed to do. Don’t let anyone keep you from achieving what you desire.

3. Make friends. And I don’t mean, “Hey, that’s my (insert air quotation here) friend Anna (end air quote)”. I mean, be yourself and go to coffee with someone new. One of my closest friends here is the result of a nerve wrecking request to “hang out”. Sarah is the greatest human being ever and I’m in her House Party for her wedding. WHAT?! How does that happen? JESUS. That’s how.

4. Find your own place of worship. I’ve loved church all my life. I’ve grown up in church. One thing I normally do is ask my parents and friends and sisters where they go to church and why they like it. I get great answers, but most of the time, I don’t know what I truly think about different churches. When I moved to Norman, the first thing I did was start looking for a church. And this time it was weird because it was just me. I didn’t have to ask someone what they thought about it. I visited 2 places. The first was nice but I just couldn’t get into it. The worship wasn’t what I enjoyed (someone shouting at you to sing…seriously, this must be stopped), and I just didn’t see myself ending up there. The next place I ended up at was because of a dear family friend telling me to go and with tears on my drive home from Tulsa, I listened to the pastor and prayed he wouldn’t be good so I could just drive home to Tulsa every Sunday. Instead, he was amazing and the worship… Dear Lord. I wept. For the first time, I really felt like “Yeah, this is home and even when I’m done with school, I’ll want to stay here”.

5. Connect. The best experience to branch off of number 4 has been going to Life Group. The leaders are an amazing couple, who didn’t know very much about me just the fact I started going to group while they were on missions. Liz and Trey are fabulous and the people that go to group are incredible. I’ve met so many wonderful people and I’m so thankful for that. You need people around you. If you think you don’t, you’re wrong. In my lowest times, my friend Rachel always texts me. It’s like she knows I need something encouraging or silly. I went to group because of her. These connections are priceless.

6. Drive. Just go for a drive around your city. In the summer, drive with the windows down and good music. It’ll lift your spirits.

7. SING. Like, sing loud. Who cares if anyone hears.

8. STUDY. Seriously. Do it. Study people around you. Study your latest piece of fiction you bought at Barnes and Noble. Study how someone takes their coffee and try that next time. Study to show yourself approved.

9. Don’t wear makeup all the time. Don’t. It’s not worth it. Especially when it rains and you won’t be seeing anyone. It ain’t worth it.

10. Go to the library. I have a library card. I love it. Free books? OK.

11. Write letters. Actually handwrite a letter. You’d be surprised who would appreciate a personal note from you and not through a machine.

12. Try something new. I bought myself a calligraphy pen. Why? Because it looked really awesome and I’ve always secretly wanted to see if I could be a cool artist with calligraphy. So far, its not looking great. But I only spent $10 on it. So no big deal!

13. Email people back in a reasonable amount of time. I got out of this habit because for a couple years I lived my life with my phone or computer attached to my body. When I left that position, I made a vow I wouldn’t live like that anymore. So, I actually quit emailing back. I don’t recommend that, but I do recommend acknowledgment. People deserve that.

14. Ask people how they are. I’ve been doing this every day for the last month. If I’m at Target, Starbucks, in the Student Union or whatever, I look the person in the eyes and say “Hi! How are you today?!” and their face changes from downcast and kinda “over it” to “light and airy”. The other day, a man took my order at Chick-fil-a had just finished with a difficult customer and I stepped up and he wasn’t even looking at me. I just said “Hey, how are you?” and he looked me in the face and said “I’m good… you’re the first person to ask me that!” It was 12:15pm. People can be jerks. Make sure you’re not one of them.

15. Take time to explore. I live in Norman. I attend one of the most unique campuses in the United States. It’s old world Harvard meets new modernization. It’s brick and mortar. It’s clean but slightly a mess (no, really. There’s construction everywhere and it’s literally insane). Recently, I was in Nielsen Hall…did you know that’s the physics building? I FOR SURE did not. It was so cool. I walked in and thought “This must be what attending Harvard is like!” There are buildings I have access to, but haven’t experienced yet. Why not?

16. Pay your bills. Be an adult. Welcome to life. You have a credit card? Pay it. You have bills? Pay them. Don’t be a wuss about it. Just do it.

Let’s talk some serious things…

17. Forgive. We’ve all been hurt. We’ve all had people hurt our feelings. It’s easy to say “I’m fine” but to be hating yourself for letting that person in so close that they hurt you that bad. It’s easy to say “I forgive you” and it’s a completely different thing to actually walk it through and let it go. I’m still in the process of saying “I forgive you” and walking through it. I have several people on my list.  I can’t change them. All I can do, let Jesus work on me and help me move through the “stuff” and on to what’s next.

18. Give people a chance. Everyone deserves a chance. I am not an easily trusting person. I usually want to see what people are like before I open up to you. When I trust someone, I truly trust them. I let them in on ALL MY STUFF. I recently was with my friend Jesse and he and I had one of those conversations where “there’s no going back now, YOU KNOW TOO MUCH” deals and I left that table feeling lighter than air. It wasn’t because I dumped all my stuff on him. It was because he shared with me just as much as I shared with him. It was an even exchange. We’d been saying for a long time we’d be friends, and it’s taken me living in Norman and him living in Tulsa for that to happen. I’m thankful that people take chances on me. I’m more than happy to give that same shot to others.

19. Learn from others. You know what, I don’t know everything and NEWSFLASH you don’t either. There’s a reason we’re all on this freaking planet. It’s not to bitch and moan at each other (excuse my french), and it’s certainly not to pin your belief system as more superior than someone else’s. I am a Christian. I love Jesus. I love what his word says. But I don’t like when people take his words and slam them against people he loved and created. Hatred is not acceptable. And when you post those “Oh no, what is our world coming to” posts in relation to what is happening in our world, you are inevitably closing the door on any opportunity to speak into that person’s life. I wish I would’ve been at OU for my entire academic career because I’ve learned more about communicating with people who aren’t exactly like me and I LOVE IT. I lived my life judging people for too long. I let other people tell me how to treat others who lived life differently than me. I was blinded for far too long. Being in a learning environment that supports identity exploration and provides a safe place to do so opens your eyes to what you’re not seeing. All I’m saying, don’t shut others out because they’re not like you.

20. Human relations. Have you ever thought about how you relate to others? Did you know that I’ve been pinching my eyebrows in class every time my professor would mention something I wasn’t sure I believed or agreed with? It wasn’t until I had a great conversation with my now favorite professor that opened my eyes to that fact. “Linds, you’re a beautiful girl who is extremely smart and funny, but every time you’re not sure of something I say in class, your eyes get tight and your eyebrows pinch up. Your whole face changes from bright to unsure. Let’s discuss this because while I know I’m challenging you and you’re about to rise to the occasion and dialog with me, your face would offend the most learned person”. OUCH. I hung my head and said sorry and asked how she noticed. “I was like you. I grew up in a bubble and when I was released in a learning environment that challenged me, it shook me. But here’s what I have to offer you…” This woman offered constructive criticism and did so in a way I would relate to. I went to a PRIVATE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL from high school to undergrad. NOT A LOT OF EXPLORATION HAPPENING THERE. My professor, a believer by the way, took time to share how she started to learn from every person she got the opportunity to learn from, no matter how different they are. She said the words I value most… “You don’t have to agree with everything someone says or does, but you need to be open enough to hear what they are truly saying. You will learn more from listening than you will from speaking on your soapbox. And guess what? They’ll come back to you”.

21. Family is everything. I love my family. I love them more now that I’m not directly in the same city as them. I make the trek back and forth and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Soon, I’ll have a piece of my heart here with me in Norman and I can’t wait. You don’t realize how special your family is until you don’t have them sitting around your table for pizza night on Sunday night.

22. Dating. Oh boy. Here it is. The WINNER. I’ve tried blind dates. Most of my friends tried (thanks guys) but no. I’ve tried dating apps (don’t ask). I’ve tried just sitting back and waiting because “it’ll happen when you least expect it” (gag me. If one more person tells me this I will throw water in your face and then kindly offer you a towel. Because I’m nice and don’t like hurting people and water is harmless). I’ve tried. I’ve been extremely patient. Patient to the point of hating myself. I decided I should give online dating a decent try because a week on Match.com isn’t really trying it. I’ve now had my account for 2-3 weeks and I’ve met one guy so far and he was so nice! He wasn’t weird. He wasn’t overtly sexual (dudes, this must be stopped. Quit it. No woman wants to deal with that). This guy was genuinely nice and paid for my meal and challenged me to a “therapy session”. He’d never been in one before and I said I needed practice. He lasted 8 minutes and said “Wow. You’re good. You’ll be a great therapist.” Dating isn’t bad. It can be fun, and it can ridiculously trying. It’s all about the approach. If you’re happy and approaching it as something fun.. you’ll have fun.

23. Mental health. Guys, if you don’t have a problem going to take your car in for a routine check up, then you shouldn’t have a problem going and sitting with a counselor for 45minutes to an hour. I hate (and I don’t use the word hate very often) the stigma that comes with mental health. We all have crap in our lives. We’ve all been bullied. We’ve all had that moment where everything got really weird and unstable and our breath started to get really quick and and our heart raced. Mental health should be talked about. Y’all, the struggle is real. Anxiety is real. Panic attacks are the scariest things ever. ADD sucks. But with the right people to help me through those issues, my life has changed for the better. Don’t wait another minute to go for your “mental health check up”.

24. Regrets. It’s ok to have regrets. Just make sure those regrets don’t take up all the room in your head. Regrets are real and most of the time, they keep us from stepping out to do something different. That sucks. Don’t let the regrets of your past keep you from an exciting future!

25. Breathe. In moments where people drive me crazy or maybe I’m just disappointed in myself for a situation that happened, I tend to hold my breath. It’s true! It’s weird. It’s like I just stop breathing for a minute. When stuff like this creeps up, breathe in and breathe in deep. Then close your eyes and just take a sec and let it all out. Let out all the stuff that your upset with and just let it all out.

26. Write down everything. There are some things you just can’t speak of. That’s where writing comes into play.

27. Let it go. Who knew you could learn something from Elsa. One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn and continue to learn is to let things go. There are things I’ve gone through that still haunt me. “Why? Why did I let that happen?” “Why on earth would I say that to that person?! I probably hurt them so badly!” “What was I thinking? I was being selfish…” “Why did I let that person in so close?” Hear me when I say this: that’s shame talking to you. Shame sucks. It’s the worst enemy to you when you’re trying to move forward. Shame is that mean friend who, when you have something bad happen in your life, chimes in to  let you know just how bad that thing is in your life. Shame is the worst. The only way to combat that… acknowledge where you went wrong, make a mental note to not walk in that same pattern again, and let it go. You can’t change people. You can’t go back and fix what went wrong. But, you can decide to not do that thing again or not let that particular person who hurt you hurt you again. It’s hard, but it can be done.

and… last but not least…

28. Look back but don’t stop there. I’ve heard it said “don’t look back. You’re not going that way.” I get that. I do. But sometimes, it’s good to reflect. Reflection is an important part of life. When I look over what got me to this particular place in life, I don’t dwell on the crap that happened, and trust me, there’s been a lot. I go to the happy things. I go to the moments that shaped me into who I am right now. I think of my friends who helped me get here. I think of the mentors I’ve chatted hours on end with about life and the future. I think of the pastors who never stopped praying for me and always were encouraging. I think of the new friends who have laughed with me and cried with me and who have been so uplifting it makes me tear up writing this. I wish I could mention everyone by name, but I know I would inevitably leave someone important out. But I can mention these people by name: my mom, my dad, and my sisters Jessica and Hailey. Without them, I would still be stuck in the rut that I found myself in. My parents didn’t always understand my thought processes or reasons for why I did certain things or hung out with certain friends, but they never questioned me. Jess and Hailey have had moments where they’ve switched roles with me. They were able to see more than I could at a particular moment and then encourage me to get back up and move on. There have been moments where they were stronger than me. I’ve learned so much from them and I know for a fact I wouldn’t be me without them.

Here’s to 28. I’ve probably hated you more than loved you, but I’m thankful I walked through every single moment. And I can honestly say, 29 has never looked better. And I’ve never been more excited for a new decade.

#ageisjustanumber 🙂