Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Show Us Your Singles!

Hello Kelly’s Korner readers! I’m Courtney and, with permission, taking over Lauren’s blog to introduce her to YOU and your single GUYS!

This is Lauren……….

Look at that smile! I cannot help but smile when I think of her smiling! She radiates joy and warmth!
Lauren and I have known each other since we were tots growing up in church together. One of my favorite memories of us is singing a duet together for a Christmas pageant when we were upper elementary age. I remember we put our heads together at the end of the song. She was in her element even back then…singing for Jesus! She loves music and experiences God through music. I love that she always has a song in her heart and will sing it out wherever she is!

Lauren is 28 and lives in Kansas City, Missouri. She truly is a beautiful, strong, capable and intelligent woman. All who know Lauren know she is passionate and determined. Whatever she sets her hand to do, she’ll do with forethought, focus, and follow through.

Lauren is a 2nd grade teacher, having felt led to leave her love of teaching elementary music to gain additional teaching experience as she finishes up her Education Specialist degree this year. Her co-workers praise her influence on students and describe her as an advocate who knows just the right questions to ask and will speak up when she thinks an injustice is being done or something is not purposeful. It’s easy to see that she loves her students. Her eyes are filled with pride (and tears!) as she champions their achievements!

She's always been one to take steps to have a life of meaning and purpose in Jesus. In the last year I've watched as she has responded to Him more fully and in great faith that His plans are to be her plans. God has led her to get out of debt, change teaching focus, and daily meet with Him.

Lauren would love to meet a tall, active, intelligent man who is confident, compassionate, educated, and courageous. She wants a man who is willing to be open and transparent, love the Lord first, enjoys newness in life, and is ready to be loved.

She'll be his partner shouting in the stands at the game and the princess on his arm all dressed up ready for the opera. She'll always be up for an ice cream date and a great discussion over wine.

If your guy will appreciate Lauren’s well rounded feminine fabulousness,
leave a comment with a way for her to contact you!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Family and Football

We had lots of fun over the Christmas break, and I thought I'd share some pics! My cousin Larry and his family flew in from D.C. to spend Christmas with us. I haven't seen them in YEARS!! It was so great to have them back in Kansas City!!

My cousin Larry and my sister Meredith

This is Larry, Regina and the kiddos. We we teaching the youngsters how to steal presents from their family members. I think we may need to find a word other than "steal." :-)

My Uncle Johnny and his wife Carol

My mom was trying out the timer on her new camera. My cousin Debby and I were happy to pose for a few pics while everyone else was oblivious.

And this is my favorite picture of the whole night! The top one is everybody all nice and pretty for the picture. Then the timer went off while one of the kiddos was upset. You can see who the true professionals are here! We're not distracted by a little crying! :-)

Okay, so besides family, the winter has pretty much been all about football! And the last few games have been COLD!!!!

We've been bundling up tight! (So tight that I look like a boy!)
And people wonder why I'm not married! ;-)

Here's me and my dad the day after Christmas getting ready for the game!

That's all I've got of the football pics. When you're THAT bundled up, it's hard to take a lot of pictures! And after that, who really wants to see anymore?

Desires of My Heart

Since as far back as I can remember I have had a heart for fostering and adoption.  For some reason it's just something I have always desired.  That desire has only increased as I have been a teacher.  We have a foster family in our school who had three little boys.  The oldest was a first grader when I started teaching and I was blessed to see him graduate fifth grade last year.  The two younger boys are now in third and fourth grade.  These boys have lived a life that you wouldn't wish on any child.  From stories of running from the "bad men" to pushing away all affection because everyone they love leaves them, these boys needed saving.  They needed someone to love them and STAY with them no matter what.

And then last year it happened.

This beautiful woman from another state altogether saved them.  She adopted them!  I will never forget the day this woman came to school to get the boys.  I was eating lunch in the library when I heard that she was at school in the office to get the boys.  I have never dropped my food so fast!  I all but ran to the office and before she had any idea who I was I hugging that woman!  Through tears I explained that I had been the boys' music teacher for the past five years and that I loved those boys so much and that I loved her so much for saving them!  

Saying goodbye to the boys was hard for the entire school (they had a pretty big presence there :-)  ).  But we were all overflowing with joy.

Friday they came back to visit.  The adoption was being finalized.  PRAISE YOU, JESUS!!!  I didn't get a chance to see the boys, but the office staff took a picture and sent it out.  Oh, can I just tell you how beautiful they were?!  For probably the first time in a long time, they were just.......HAPPY. 

Of course that spawned conversation of adoption and how wonderful this lady is for taking these beautiful boys.  My mom and I have talked about adoption a lot.  She's thrilled for other people, but it's not her heart.  I was talking with some friends -- and it's not their heart either.

Adoption isn't something everyone wants (you know like getting married and having babies).  Now, don't get me wrong -- I want to be pregnant and bear my own children.  But, oh, how I want to adopt and foster!!

It seems to me that Jesus loves adoption, too.  After all, he adopted me!

"In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will."  Ephesians 1:4b-5

And I realized --

This desire is from Him.

You know, there are just so many minutes and hours and days when I doubt that I will be married and have kids.  But His Word says -- no, it PROMISES -- 

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

Jesus, I will take you at Your Word, and I delight myself in You as I wait.  Love you, Jesus!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Prone to Wander

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be.
Let they goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to thee.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it
Seal it for thy courts above.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Revolutionary Resolution

I've been feeling guilty about my last post. Yes, it is exactly where I was in my faith walk at that moment and my feelings and disappointment were and still are genuine. But it seems like such a bummer way to have ushered out 2010 and welcomed in 2011. As I'm sure many can understand, the holidays always do this to me. It's a double-edged sword. I need the time off and I absolutely cherish the time to work through my to-do list and enjoy family and friends. But in all of that "extra" time I get during this time of the year, it is that much more evident that I am alone. And the older I get, the harder this time of the year is for me. Next week when the craziness of 24 second graders and 5am wake up calls and grad school assignments hit, the loneliness will play second fiddle to the busyness. I'll still feel the loneliness, but the busyness takes the edge off the pain.

I've always been a busy person --
always had my candle burning at both ends. I think mostly out of pride -- kind of a "Look how good I am that I can keep all of these balls in the air at one time with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back!" But what I've discovered as of the
last couple of years as the Lord has worked deeper into my heart is that that kind of busyness does not allow true time to commune with Him. I think that the Lord has been breaking me over the last 10 months - more gently than He has in the past, but breaking me just the same. And I think that's one of the reasons why I have struggled so this year to keep everything going.

I'm working through Beth Moore's "90 Days With The One and Only" and tonight she had this to say about the purpose behind being broken by the Lord.

"God's intent in breaking us is to bend our stiff knees so that we will submit to His authority and take on His yoke. His aim is our abundant and effective life."

I can sincerely say that my life in the last few months has been anything but abundant and effective. And guess who's fault that is. MINE.

So tonight I'm making a revolutionary resolution for myself (again, inspired by Miss Beth). She says in "Praying God's Word Day By Day:"

The giant step in the walk of faith is the one we
take when we decide God no longer is a part of
our lives. He is our life.

So, my revolutionary resolution is this: GOD IS MY LIFE. It may not be so revolutionary in theory, but for me it will be pretty darn revolutionary in practice. There's no more trying to find fifteen minutes at the end of the day to spend with Him. There's no more quick prayer and then off to another meeting. He's not going to just be reserved for a certain time of the day and put back on the shelf when I'm finished.

Now, here's the kicker -- I still feel how I feel when I wrote my last post. I'm still sad and disappointed and longing. The pain is still there FOR SURE! But my relationship with The One who died for me while I was yet a sinner isn't going to be contingent on the ups and downs on my emotions. I choose to make Him my life -- no matter how I feel today.

Here's my prayer for this year and every year to come (again, stolen from Beth's "Praying God's Word Day By Day"):

My Father, I acknowledge that You are the Lord Almighty. You are the first and You are the last, and apart from You there is no other God. Make me witness to the fact that there is no other Rock but You. Enable me to say with full assurance, "I know not one" (Isa. 44:6, 8).

You are my Lord, my Holy One, my Creator, my King. You are the One who made a way through the sea, a path through mighty waters (Isa. 43:15-16).

You are the Lord my God. I desire to love You, listen to Your voice, and hold fast to You,
for You, Lord, are my life (Deut. 30:20).