//#lindstoOKC//

Hey everyone…

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

Let’s play catch up.

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

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

Linds

 

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//the waiting room//

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

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

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

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

While you’re waiting, take time to…

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

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

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

me? saying yes to an adventure? DEFINITE MIRACLE.

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

//season of unreasonable optimism//

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

//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…

IMG_0092

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.

//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…//

Processed with VSCOcam with s4 preset

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