Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

"Plan your work and work your plan."  It's pretty much been my motto for as long as I can remember.  So, naturally, I had a five year plan in place as soon as I left college.  First up on the plan - get a job.  Check.  Next on the plan - get a new car.  Check.  Buy a house.  Check.  Get my mater's degree.  Check.  Get married by 25.  Ummm.  Okay, so I'll go ahead and get my elementary admin degree while I wait for my knight in shining armor.  Check.  Start having babies by 28.  Wellll....  So I figured I'd make a little adjustment to the plan.  As long as I'm married and having babies by the time I'm 30, I'll be okay.  Surely I can make that happen.

And then today it hit me.  In two months (TWO MONTHS, PEOPLE!) I will be 29. 


No husband.  (Not even any potential prospects!)  No babies.  TWENTY. NINE.

And although I'm no math wiz, I figured that I now have 14 months to find my husband, get married, get pregnant and birth a child.  

And so I cried.  The realization that I will be LUCKY to be married by the time I'm 30 let alone be a mother hits hard.  And so do the "what if's" that accompany this realization.

What if my parents aren't there to walk me down the aisle?
What if I'm alone for forever?
What if I never get to be a mom?
What if my parents never get to have grandkids?
What if.....this is it?  
What if.....this is all there is?

So, while I know Jeremiah 29:11 and I claim that verse daily -- right now I am two months away from being 29, and I'm still alone.  

It's 66 degrees in Kansas City today.  It's also December 30.  I suppose miracles do happen.  

I just hope I get my miracle soon.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I'm not a writer.  I write in my prayer journal (because it's the only way I can keep my thoughts on track) and I write this blog (really more for my own sake of documenting my journey than for anything or anyone else).  But I'm not a writer.  I feel as though I should have this disclaimer at the beginning of every post.  I've been reading a lot of different posts lately -- posts of people who can actually write.  And it's made me realize how bad I really am at writing!  So if you're wanting to read some serious literary prose, this isn't the blog for you.  If you want to hear how the Lord is moving in my life -- keep reading.

This last month or so has been hard.  I've written a lot about how overwhelmed with life I've been.  And although I've prayed for some reprieve, it really has only gotten worse.  And so I fell back into old habits.  I put off meeting with the Lord.  And, for some reason, I got really upset with Him.  This walk is supposed to be easier.  It should be easier to spend time with Him.  It should be easier to wait on Him.  My longings should be met and my desires should be fulfilled.  My family members should love Him and be saved.  I shouldn't have to be so alone.  So I made the conscious decision to ignore my time with Him - to let that time be filled up with the multitude of other things clamoring for my attention.  And then the guilt began to weigh down on me.  I'd go to bed at night knowing I had missed the most important part of my day.  But I closed my eyes and went to sleep anyway.  After all, I reasoned, it's very important to be well-rested.  

And then the Christmas season was here -- and it slapped me in the face.  I was eye to eye with the gift of the first Christmas.  Songs of Him played in my ear and burst forth from my lips.  And so, at some point I decided not to be upset anymore.  But, in true stubborn-Lauren spirit, that didn’t make me come right back to Him and our relationship.  It really just intensified my guilt.  And I kept saying, "Tomorrow.  I'll get back to my Bible study and quiet time.....tomorrow."  

I knew I needed to renew my relationship with Him, but I felt....well....awkward.  Like when girls argue with eachother and eventually get over themselves but don’t want to (or don’t know how to) be the first to break the silence.  It’s awkward.   And for some reason I felt awkward coming to the Lord after so openly and consciously and obviously avoiding Him for the past month.  

But somehow one day I got over myself.  I made the first step.  I apologized.  I confessed. I repented.  I told the Lord about my broken heart (as if He didn't already know).  I used lots of exclamation points in my prayer journal (shocker, I know).  And it occurred to me -- THIS is true relationship.  Relationships aren't all peaches and cream.  They're not always warm and fuzzy like I want them to be.  They're hard.  They're awkward sometimes. You have to be able to admit when you're wrong and ask for forgiveness.  And you have to get over yourself.  

Lord, I'm over it.  I really am over myself.  That's not to say I won't relapse again, but at this point in time, I'm ready to be with You again.  I want it to be easier than this, but I just have to be okay with the fact that it's not.  It's not easy.  It's not going to be easy.  Jesus, you know my heart.  Help me to truly understand Yours.

I don't have the literary expertise to make a connection right now to this video.  But for some reason, this song has just captivated my heart this Christmas.  I hope that it speaks to yours as well.  

Monday, December 27, 2010


One of my favorite moments of this Christmas break is without a doubt our Cardinal Chorale reunion.  Cardinal Chorale is the chamber choir at my high school, and it holds SOO many precious memories for me!  Mary Bodney (who was the director of the choir) was like a second mom to me and so many other kids in high school.  I absolutely adore her.  She is one big reason why I decided to become a music teacher (and one person I was terrified of disappointing when I decided to work on my administration degree!).  I've been having music-withdrawal as of late (due to the not-teaching-music bit) and out of purely selfish motives I decided to plan a last minute party.  And so was born the Cardinal Chorale reunion!  I cannot tell you how happy this made my heart!  Here are some pictures!

There's Mrs. Bodney directing us as always!

 Singing fun!

There's always a good story being told when Mrs. Bodney is around!

The beloved Mrs. B.

 My beautiful friend Alicja!  Oh, how I love singing with her!

It was so last minute and tons of old Chorale folks weren't able to make it.  Thankfully this has already turned into an annual event!  It'll be even BIGGER next year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Party Season

 Christmas time tends to keep people busy with parties.  This year I decided to throw a couple myself!  In fact, the last two weeks have been super busy in the Schulze household.  Last weekend I threw a party in celebration of a one year milestone.  I had such a great time with my girlfriends/family!  My soul needed a night of non-stop laughing!  Here are a few of the pics from the evening.

Some friends from work (Melissa and Kristin)

My friend Shawna and me

My sister Meredith, my cousin Debby, my mom and me

The next day (Saturday) my fam hopped in the car and took off down I-70 to St. Louis.  My Aunt Pattie (who some of you might remember from my Monday Night Football post) invited us to town to go to the Rams vs. Chiefs game!  Being the football fans that we are, we decided the 3 1/2 hour drive across the state was a small sacrifice to pay for a visit to the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

Sunday morning (the day of the game) we met up with some friends for breakfast and followed them to the stadium.  This is my dad and his friend Gary and Gary's son-in-law.

We're heading to our seats and super excited!

My mom and my Aunt Pattie.  

Pre-game warmups

We got there in plenty of time to enjoy some popcorn before the game started.

My mom was taking a picture of us in our seats.  She took a couple and I noticed the guy next to her putting rabbit ears up in front of her camera.  You can see by the look on my face how I feel about that!  (I love this picture.  It shows how bad I am at keeping my emotions from showing on my face!)

Me and my dad.

 After a fairly scary first quarter, my boys in red did a FANTASTIC job and we won the game!  YAY!! This is our victory walk back to the car.  There were LOTS of people wearing red at the game.  Way to go Chiefs fans!

There are more pictures to share soon...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Decorating

Okay, blog world.  I've made requests on Facebook, Twitter and now on my blog.  I'm not super great at decorating.  If I could hire someone to tell me what to buy and where to put it, I would.  But I am not exactly at that point in my life financially, so I'm propositioning free advice.  :-)

Here's my mantle.  What should I do to make it look better???

And while I'm at it, here's the tree and nativity scene.  Any and all suggestions are welcomed (as long as you say things nicely)!  :-)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thank God for Thanksgiving Break!

Seriously.  Thank you Jesus for that break!!  I spent the majority of my break cleaning, shopping, eating and generally getting my life back under control (although I'm confident I'd need an entire month to really get it under control).  I met with my pastor before Thanksgiving break to talk with him about a couple of things - one being how to give my all to my job and still develop my relationship with Christ.  While he empathized with my situation (torn between my two passions - Jesus and teaching - and trying to give each 110%), he said something that I knew but that has echoed in my mind for over a week now.

"You cannot put Jesus on the altar of sacrifice."

Even if it's for something as honorable as a child's education.  Jesus cannot go on the altar of sacrifice - and that's where I've been placing Him.  I still am completely unsure as to how I'm going to manage to be the teacher I want to be and nurture my relationship with Christ.  But I cannot put Him on the altar of sacrifice any more.  It follows, then, that my job will have to be sacrificed at some point for Jesus - and I need to get okay with that.  

Having said all that -- here are a few snippits from my five-day break!

These are the latest cupcakes to join my Cupcake Creations Facebook album.  Lesson learned here - never make outlandish cupcakes without first doing a trial run.  I regretted that big time.

Post-Thanksgiving football watching.

While I refuse to be a crazy Black Friday shopper, I did get to hang out with one of my best friends (Allison) and her beautiful babies!  

I want a couple of those for my own!!  

After a truly blessed break, I'm heading back into the routine of work.  
How horrible is it that I'm starting the count down to Christmas break????

Sunday, November 14, 2010


This semester has been at the very least a whirlwind.  Maybe more like a hurricane.  New job.  Crazy grad school requirements/hours.  A confused social life.  A Savior throwing all kinds of thoughts and ideas and quandaries my way.  I haven't blogged recently because I haven't known what to say.  I feel like a broken record - I'm tired.  I'm overwhelmed.  I'm ready for a break.  And part of me has been longing for a break from not only work and grad school but from the weight the Lord has been putting on my heart.  I was walking in obedience with Him.  He was doing things I didn't understand, but I was walking in obedience and in utter contentment.  And then little by little, I let life take back over.  I bowed back down to my idol of job and success and purpose.  The contentment I was so loving (and slightly scared of) disappeared over night.

I lived in South Carolina for my freshman and sophomore years of college.  How I adore South Carolina!  I found the Lord there, so I can't help but love it!  It was in South Carolina where I fell in love with the band "Silers Bald."  I've been living with that CD in my car for the last week or so.  Don't you love when the Lord uses something old to speak something new to your heart?!  Here's the chorus:

I ask You how many times will You pick me up
When I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall of your glory,
How far will forgiveness abound?

And you answer, "My child, I love you.
And as long as you're seeking My face,
you'll walk in the power of my daily sufficient grace."

Seeking His face.  Delighting in Him.  Relationship.  I've been struggling with this whole "relationship" bit lately.  What does it mean to be in relationship with someone?  What does that look like?  And what exactly does it mean/look like to be in relationship with the God of the universe?

I love what Kelly Minter said.  "Coming to Him, hearing from Him, putting other things aside that get in the way, and speaking back to Him - all of these make up the ingredients for intimacy with another, in this case with God."

We can't be engrossed in the world and still engrossed in the Lord.  I'm struggling with this right now.  My job is so special to me.  I feel like I'm truly making a difference in the lives of my students.  But it's taken over my life.  I'm being defined by what I do for a living and not by who I am in Christ.  I'm struggling with that.  I spend more time at school working than I do anywhere else - and that includes with Him.  I don't know how to be what I need to be for my students and be in relationship with the Lord.

And during this season, I feel like the Lord is asking me to at least temporarily step back from some old friendships.  That's surprisingly easy.  When I'm walking with Him, He really is my daily sufficient grace.  He's all I need, all I desire.

So, if you've made it this far, congratulations!  :-)  Nothing like a little Sunday night verbal vomit to close out the weekend.  (PS...This makes me laugh.  With one of my phonics groups at we're working on the "ur" sound.  One of the words in our flashcards is "hurl."  One of my kids just thinks that's the funniest thing!  Every time he reads it he follows it up by saying, "Like when you throw up!"  And just laughs his little head off!  Sorry....side note.)

Lord Jesus, as I we sang to You in worship this morning....

Let now our hearts burn with a flame
A fire consuming all for your Son's holy name
And with the heavens we declare
You are our king!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkins on Parade

My mom is a member of the Raytown Kiwanis.  She and other Kiwanis members took on the HUGE project of Raytown's First Annual Pumpkins on Parade.  After my aforementioned Saturday morning meltdown, I met my mom at Cave Spring in Raytown to help set up for this AMAZING event!  Basically we had almost 500 pumpkins carved by local families, organizations and groups and lined the trails of Cave Spring with them.  Then over 1000 people came through the trail!  It was AWESOME!!  

I was crazy enough to have my classroom carve pumpkins.  Yes.  That means 24 second graders armed with kid-friendly carving knives and pumpkins.  It was so much fun!!!

This is a picture of one of my students and myself at our classroom carving.  I got permission from her mom.  :-)

Here are our final products!  I was SOO proud of my kids!  And I loved that so many of them came out to see their pumpkins.  

Here are some more pics from the night!  SO MUCH FUN!!!

COOL Pumpkins:

COOL Pumpkins by my mom:

Happy Halloween!!  Go carve a pumpkin!