//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.


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//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

//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

I have some news…

I have been waiting to share this information for what seems like ages, and I finally can. This is beyond exciting for me to share and if anything, we all need encouragement when things get hard. I don’t know about you, but as much as I give encouragement, I love hearing it. So, I hope this encourages you…

I graduated after what seems like a FOREVER JOURNEY to earn my bachelor’s degree in May and was suddenly asked the questions about what’s next. It didn’t bother me at all not knowing the answers to these questions, but did cause me to think a little bit more about what I really wanted to do. I was (well, I was 27 when I graduated) 28 and feeling what every 23-24 year old must feel when they graduate (assuming most undergraduate students are 23-24 years old when they finally get that degree) and tried to maintain focus on what I was currently doing. That, for a high functioning ADD, Type-A breed like me, was IMPOSSIBLY HARD. I would day dream while writing emails about what was to come. I would eat dinner while studying the OU website and imagine what making dinner in a cute little house while writing papers would be like. I began my OU Graduate College application on July 1st at 9:45pm. I would then get scared and not attempt to finish said application until 3 weeks ago (Yes, about 3 months after I began the application originally).

This summer was hard. I was challenged on multiple levels and had to find my voice as a leader. I don’t mind challenges. It’s when you face challenges you realize what’s really on the inside of you. I love God, but up until this point, I haven’t really had a need of truly trusting God. That’s a bold statement. I know God saved me when I was 4 and then many times after (I was that child who raised her hand every week to be saved… Don’t laugh!). I know there have been many opportunities where I could’ve been “taken out” (various health issues when I was in high school, weight problems throughout, anxiety, ADD, you name it). I know I need God. I do. I know I do, because I don’t know what I would do without Him…but when you realize you can achieve all you’re doing without Him, you have problems. My friends, I had a problem. I had met my “glass ceiling” and felt that pang of boredom when you realize you’ve basically done all you can do where you’re at. I finally awoke to the “Lindsay, you really need Me right now…” point. So, I made a decision. I would finish my application, put in 30 days notice at my apartment complex to break my lease and move back in with my parents and sister for about a month and a half and pack up my Tulsa life and move to Norman to begin another journey. Oh and did I mention, I did all of this without even knowing if I was accepted in the Graduate College?? Yeah, so if I didn’t need God before…I DEFINITELY needed Him now.

The next 3 weeks would be the most challenging, fun, torturous, exhilarating, anxiety-ridden, sleep deprived, and absolutely exciting weeks I’ve ever experienced. I faced numerous situations, some of which I didn’t see coming, and had to choose to trust God. I could trust myself, which until this point had gotten me nowhere, or I could trust the one who is never caught off guard, never surprised, never struck by my emotions or endless questions. I attended a women’s conference October 9-11th in Springfield, Missouri. This conference will go down as the moment where God literally spoke to my heart, put his hands on my face and directed my eye line back to his eyes and spoke those words-“You can do this… Step out. Be brave. Just follow me, Linds. I’ve got this. Just take a step”. I don’t know about you, but when you’ve been raised by Joe and Barb Davis (with the help of many aunts and uncles), they have a way of getting your attention. I will always remember the quiet conversations I had with my dad growing up. There would be a moment when my dad would be trying to make a point and I would be looking out the window, staring at my hands or fidgeting around and my dad would so gently take his hands, place them on my face and direct my eyes to his and say “Linds, I need you to hear me when I say this ok? You with me?” and like any dad/coach/best friend to his daughters, he would gently convey his thoughts to me. Just like how my dad had a way of catching my eyes and getting me to focus, God did the same thing. I would write page after page of notes during that women’s conference and get pumped up to accomplish what it was I needed to do when I arrived home. That Saturday night, I would write draft 2 and 3 of my personal goal statement and stare at the computer screen wondering what the hell I was doing, but knowing if God asked me to step out, I would bravely and boldly do what He was asking and trust He already had a way made for me.

Like I said, none of this was really planned out. I would drive to Norman on Friday, October 17th and venture to the University of Oklahoma and anxiously walk toward the place that held my future. I submitted my application a couple days before this moment and yet, I was so freaking terrified to walk on the campus. This has been a type of “holy ground” for the Davis family. My uncle Steve was the all time winningest quarterback during 1973-75. My uncle George was on the team and then followed by my dad, Joe. The Davis name carries some weight, so imagine my surprise when I didn’t get into OU TWICE after initially accepting an offer to attend ORU for my bachelors. I was so nervous to sit and wait to meet with anyone who would listen to me about why I should be admitted to OU’s Grad College. Little did I know, this weekend would be the start to some fun times ahead. I would have lunch with a new acquaintance that would make me laugh whole heartedly at my past, present and future. I would spend time with my entire family (nurse Jessica included) eating good food, laughing so hard and almost passing out from laughing fits. I would come home to write my resignation letter and arrive to Foundations Church that Sunday knowing my days were numbered there. I did all of this not even knowing if I got into the Graduate College. WHAT NORMAL PERSON DOES THAT? WHAT PERSON WITH A BRAIN AND JOB WITH BENEFITS WOULD DO SOMETHING SO RIDICULOUS? Me. I would. And I am so glad I did.

I received my official Graduate College offer on Thursday, October 30th while sitting in my sister’s bedroom, tying my shoes to run around having a fun day in OKC. I freaked out. I called my parents and gave them the news. My dad finished the phone call with the most precious statement to me ever… “Linds, we’re so proud of you and you know someone is looking down on you, INCREDIBLY proud of the steps you’ve taken to accomplish this dream. So proud of you… BOOMER!” My Uncle Steve was the one who started me thinking on this path of graduate studies. “Linds, you’re smarter than you even realize. You are so bright and I just don’t think you’ve thought this through. You’re life right now is too small for you… Don’t get comfortable in small spaces. Think big! You’re a Davis… We never think small!” I am so glad he gave me that speech each time we met. So, with huge, happy tears in my eyes, I accepted my offer to the Graduate College and my journey starts January 12th, 2015. I’m moving to Norman. I’m going to be studying what I feel is my ministry calling: counseling and mental health. I could burst I’m so excited. I’m sure my friends and family who have spoken to me the last couple days are ready for me to chill out on the “I’m going to OU” texts, calls, Facebook posts, whatever but I don’t care! All this to say, I’m incredibly excited for the future. I’m going where I believe I’m supposed to be. I’m going somewhere new. I’ll be making new friends and attending a new church. I couldn’t be more excited and ready for this.

Don’t give up on the things you think are too big. They’re not too big at all. It just means you need a Savior who’s bigger than all those little thoughts that try to dominate your world and lead you to where you’re supposed to be. Let your faith be bigger than your fear. Let God be God and let Him work miracles on your behalf.

Linds

My life in a list…

Lists. Calendars. Planners. iCal. iPhone. Whatever Yosemite is…

This week has been crazy. Well, let’s start with the weekend before. It was…great and unexpected. So here’s the list…because if you know me at all, you need to know my lists.

1. I’m ADD. Like high functioning ADD. I have the innate ability to swirl ideas around in my mind, then look you in the face, repeat what you were talking about and then explain what 15-20 things I’m thinking about in that moment. It also provides great entertainment to those around you when you tear up unexpectedly because you had a happy thought and then start crying when your anxiety hits and you become aware of how socially awkward this whole situation is. But the good thing is, I’ve grown. HA.

2. Netflix. You’d think with all the busy-ness of life I wouldn’t have time to sit and watch any TV. <enter NETFLIX>. I came home everyday this week and crashed on to my couch. If I didn’t go run or workout or have errands to run, I crashed and turned to my bff Netflix. (I’m quite the party gal if you haven’t noticed). I love being active and spending time with people, but there comes a point where I can’t function in front of others at a normal pace. I literally have to hide away for a bit and recoup. Right now, I’m watching Gilmore Girls…even though I own all the seasons on DVD, taking the need for me to leave my couch to switch out a DVD is priceless. So, thanks Netflix!

3. I ran 3.2 miles on Monday and felt dead for 2 days after. Guys. I’m not going to pretend to be a marathoner like my sister… I am for the Fun Run… the “I hope they throw paint on me while I’m wearing a ridiculous outfit” type. Or, WHAT ABOUT A RUN WHERE YOU CROSS THE FINISH LINE AND THEY REWARD YOU WITH PIZZA… OR CANDY?! Someone should invent that. I’d do it. Hey, if there’s a pizza or chocolate cake in front of me, I would so run after that. Make me run 5, 10, however many miles and I’d be all about that run.

4. Struggles. I normally don’t like this word. I hate admitting that I struggle with things. I do. It’s a terrible problem. My struggle as mentioned in the above comment, food. I love to eat. I love food. I love chocolate. I love ice cream. I also struggle with the same things most girls do. This week, I had a sleepless night that literally caused me to have a panic attack. It was like this insurmountable monster reared its ugly head and sat on my chest until I couldn’t stand it and cried out from fear. Most struggles are fine. You struggle putting the heavier weight on the bar at the gym. You change the pace on the treadmill. You grab too many paper bags stuffed full from Whole Foods and have to climb a flight of stairs with uncanny balance. But then there are big fears. “What am I doing with my life? Why did I say that? What if what I want isn’t going to happen? Oh my god, why did I write my personal statement like that? I should’ve said this… I’m so afraid of the dark right now and I’ve never been afraid of the dark. I’m so alone right now… do I call my mom? My sister is a nurse maybe she could talk me of the ledge THAT IS MY LIFE… WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW?!” Yep. My mind never quits. Everything swirls around and then, something just pushes me over the edge and I lose it…literally lose it.

5. The only thing that calmed me down was… reciting all the things God is. I was an absolute wreck and it’s amazing how moments like this cause you to see what’s really on the inside of you. All these years I’ve been in private school, bible studies, small groups, mentorships, you name it and I never noticed that the Word was stored up for such a time as this. I wrote it all out and stared at my notebook amazed. In moments of struggle, remember all that God is. Nothing takes him by surprise. Nothing causes him worry or stress. He gets us and understands all our weakness and still chooses us. Even with all my trust issues, God still trusts me. Wow. Just beautiful… God is truly amazing.

6. New things. I can’t explain this right now, but when I do, I have lots to talk about.

7. Family and friends. I have the best of both. My family is so encouraging and never looks at me like I’m a crazy person, even though they have every right to. My friends…oh my Lord. I have the sweetest and best friends ever. I’ve made new ones and I’ve never been so thankful for their laughs, nonjudgemental facial expressions, and their funny texts about things I TOTALLY GET! Think about your friends and family and how blessed you are…

8. The future… It’s so bright. I’m freaking out about how cool the future looks right now and the thing is…I haven’t even seen the whole picture yet! Ephesians 3:20. “Now to Him who is able to do EXCEEDINGLY, ABUNDANTLY ABOVE what I could ask, think, dream or imagine…”

OK. I have to get ready now… for the day. It’s weird. I never just lay around. More to come…

Linds Jo