Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Give Thanks

November 24, 2011

{photo by InkedFingers}

There are so many wonderful things to be thankful for.
Here are a few at the top of my list:
-a wonderful and supportive family
-friends that aren’t afraid of deep conversation and authenticity
-creativity
-a God who never ever gives up on me
-relationships with people I love all over the world and across the USofA
-the crazy cats in my internet community (twitter, instagram, blogging, facebook)
-magic (it’s real, ya know?)
-music, music and more pretty music
-the ability to see in color
-waterfalls, mountains, clouds, flowers and sunsets
-pretty dresses
-good health for me and my family
-a j.o.b
-dreams to pursue and the nervous feeling that accompanies the pursuit
-love
-dirty hippies
-good hair days
-cute boys in flannel
-handwritten notes in my mailbox
-chilly mornings and the process of making coffee
-books with extremely marked up pages
-giggling (lots and lots of giggling)

What are YOU thankful for?

So…I’m a Runner Now

July 15, 2011

{me in Sudan with some major cuties/ Daniel Davis Photography}

Every once in a while, I’ll have the realization that life is so incredibly boring when I make it all about myself.  Not only that…but I have about 85 years, if I’m lucky, to do something about it.  This is what brings me to being a new runner aaaaaand why I hope you’re here.  Thanks, by the way, for even checking this out.

Let me start off by saying that I am not, I repeat NOT, a runner.  At this present time, I can’t even jog 5 miles without wanting to crawl into the nearest ditch and die while begging for it to be over.  Ok, that was a little dramatic but not by much.  I’m in bad shape for a skinny 30 year old (on July 29!!) who loves cupcakes and bubble tea.  (We can talk about that later.)

About a week ago, World Vision approached our work place with a need and explained how we could join together to raise money for villages in Africa to have clean water.  Water!  The most basic thing we need to survive and there are literally thousands who die daily because they don’t have it.  Heck yes, I’ll get off of my computer and run 13.2 miles for that!  So, on December 4, I’m running a half marathon with Team World Vision to raise awareness and funding for villages in Africa so that these sweet children and their families can have clean drinking water and a chance for a better life.

{orphanage in Sudan….love}

Here’s what I love about the folks at WV!  World Vision works with communities in desperate need to help provide things like clean water, good food, education, medical care, and economic opportunity.  They truly care about changing the world and it shows.  However, we do need your help.  Yes, you knew this was coming!!!  Each person on our team has a goal to raise $1,300 by race day. S o…I’m shooting for $2,000.  Why?  Because if I raise it, that means 40 people have water for LIFE!!!!  Yes, it’s true.  $50 provides clean water for one person for the rest of their life.  That…is…awesome.

{My favorite photo I’ve ever taken….ever!!! Sudan!}

I was able to spend some time in Sudan and Uganda two years ago and I know first-hand how much this would mean to the people there.  You can read about my trip here.  Being there wrecked my heart but also made me realize how closely tied all of us really are.  In this day and age, it’s amazing that we don’t ever have to step foot in a country to help.  We can save lives by simply clicking a donate button.  They need help.  We can give it.  I’m asking you to help me. Please.  (puppy dog eyes…)

Will you make a tax-deductible donation to support my efforts?  It’s easy!  Just click here!  Together we can help change lives in Africa and in the process maybe even change ourselves.

I love you forever and ever. Thank you for being in my life.

I should go start training now,
Laura Elizabeth

{orphanage in Sudan// Daniel Davis Photography}

Grudges Are Stupid

June 2, 2011

{taken with my iPhone//my living room}

Tonight started out just like any other ordinary night.  I went on a run in the blazing heat, got some coffee grounds for my French press and rented an episode or two of Glee (yea, I don’t want to hear it).  Last week, I left my glasses at a friend’s house and tonight was the first time I’ve had the chance to go by and retrieve them.  On my way there, she  sent a text warning me that a certain someone was also at the house.  I’ve been holding a pretty strong grudge against this fella for about six months or so.  Why?  It doesn’t really matter.  The fact is that I’ve been doing a swell job of ignoring him for quite a while.  That is, until I saw him in person.  Yea, that does it for me.  For some reason, I’m great at ignoring from afar but when I find myself face to face with somebody?  Game over.  I’m done.  All is forgiven.  So…it is.  We chatted, apologized, asked forgiveness and moved on.  We’ll all hang out next week and the awkwardness will be far far away.  

Goodness…why in the world did I wait so long to do that?  I felt better at once!! I even realized how silly I was being.  Lesson learned:: It takes far too much energy to hold a grudge.  Plus, I’m pretty sure grudges give you wrinkles. 

Jesus knew what he was talking about when he said it’s better to forgive.  It just is.  The world is a much better place when we just get over it. 

I’m going to go watch Glee now.  Happy weekend is upon us!

Tree Hugger (& mountains & stars & flowers)

April 19, 2011

Nothing awakens my soul like the raw beauty of  the world around us.  Nothing brings me to tears faster than a sunrise or a mountain view.  There’s something about it.  I like to think nature is the one language I speak fluently and the one thing that understands me completely.  Probably because the God who created it is the only one who understands me, completely.

I happened across these videos on Twitter yesterday and cannot stop watching them.  Brilliant.  Just one of the many reasons I’m in awe over how beautiful the universe really is.  Take a look.  You’ll see.  The man who made these videos is an artist.

And this one too, of course.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.  –Psalm 19:1

See more stunning work from Terje Sorgjerd here.

When I Grow Up…

March 24, 2011

This past Tuesday, Luci Swindoll took Nicole and I out for a marvelous dinner.  Now, anybody that’s met Luci will know an evening with her is more than a person could ask for.  You’re sure to be entertained by her humor and endless stories.  However, not only did we enjoy Luci’s company but Patsy Clairmont and Marilyn Meberg also joined us. 

I think we made dinner a three hour event.  There were moments where I could physically feel my heart growing with joy.  It was a special night and I made sure I did a lot of listening to soak in all of the wisdom that was passed around the table.  

The stories of friendship, hope, laughter, faith, God, loss and memories floated around the table as we ate the most wonderful meal.  A meal that ended with three different desserts being passed around the table to share.  Now that’s my kind of dinner party.

I’m so thankful for these ladies and what they mean to me.  I always say that I can only hope to be half as cool as they are one day.  Love them to the moon and back…..five hundred times.

Pray for Japan

March 14, 2011

Sometimes there are just no words…

{found via We Heart It}

{we heart it}

It’s amazing how small the world becomes once tragedy strikes.  It makes all of us appear to be human once again…and connected.  There are many ways to help during this time of crisis including prayer and monetary donations.  Personally, I’ve decided to donate to World Vision.  Want to help?  Find out more information here.

We need each other.  Help.  Pray.  Give.  It could be us next time.

Why The Snow Was My Fault…

February 6, 2011

{the arctic blast of 2011}

Every once in a while, like everybody else, I start to wonder how on earth I’m going to accomplish everything that’s happening in my life.  I don’t just want to accomplish things but I want to enjoy them and do them well…110%.  However, there are seasons where I panic just a little and get overwhelmed with being pulled in 75 million different directions.  I like it, don’t misunderstand me, I just panic at the thought of no time to myself and no time to be home in my cozy little apartment, doing nothing but reading a good book and listening to pretty music. 

Two weeks ago, I was at the panic point.  I prayed a quick little prayer asking the Lord to help me fit everything in but also not completely lose my mind.  Then on Monday night the snow and ice began to fall and I, along with thousands of other people, found myself snowed in for an entire week. 

{went for a walk in the snow…i told my shadow that i wanted to be alone but she didn’t listen…she never does}

What did I do all week long?  I worked from home but besides that I did absolutely  nothing.  I did nothing because I didn’t have a choice!  Well I did a few things…stayed in my pajamas all week long, made french press coffee every morning with time to enjoy it, read good books, caught up with some friends over email and phone calls, cleaned everything then cleaned everything again, went on walks by myself, spent a lot of time with Chrissy (she lives next door to me but I still don’t have as much time with her as I’d like), read good books, listened to lovely tunes, baked, took photos, watched movies, started making homemade Valentines, listened to podcasts from my church….etc, etc, etc.

{walking behind my apartment….so cold but so perfect}

Of course, I’m not saying that God allowed it to snow just so I would  have some alone time to gather my thoughts and rest but I am saying it was exactly what I needed.  Not only did I get time to myself but I also got snow….and that is wonderful.  I {love} snow.  It transforms the everyday into a fairytale. 

Prayer is a request.  The essence of a request, as distinct from compulsion, is that it may or may not be granted.  And if an infinitely wise Being listens to the requests of finite and foolish creatures, of course He will sometimes grant and sometimes refuse them.  Invariable “success” in prayer would not prove the Christian doctrine at all.  It would prove something much more like magic – a power in certain human beings to control, or compel, the course of nature.
–CS Lewis

So…the snow is melting now.  It was perfect while it lasted but I am going a bit stir crazy. I think one more day without much human interaction and I would have completely lost it.  Hehe.  See?  I was on the brink.

{cray cray cabin fever}

Tomorrow I’m back at work, then on Tuesday I’m flying out to Nashville for an entire week for a work trip.  Hooray!! Ok….I’m going to finish my Valentines and make cupcakes now.  I’m taking advantage of my last ‘snow day’.  Real life begins again tomorrow and I’m all prepared.  God is good.  He takes care of us…always…and in the best of ways, so that we can’t take any of the credit. 

Sorry about the snow, guys.  Maybe next time I’ll pray that it would rain cupcakes.  *wink

CS Lewis Is My Hero

December 20, 2010

{We Heart It}

Sometimes there are authors you run across who seem to speak right into your soul with every word you read.  CS Lewis does this for me.  The man had a creative, beautiful and awe inspiring imagination as well as a profound view of God.  I wanted to share a few of my favorite Lewis quotes because his words have changed my life.  Words are powerful, ya know? 

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.
–CS Lewis
Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.
CS Lewis
Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.
–CS Lewis
You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
–CS Lewis
Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
CS Lewis
We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.
–CS Lewis
Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness.
–CS Lewis
It was when I was happiest that I longed most…The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing…to find the place where all the beauty came from.
–CS Lewis
Oh goodness….beauty and truth with every thought he chose to share with the world.  I love it.  Want some of his books?  Easy…go here.

Shine:: David Crowder

October 28, 2010

This may be one of the loveliest music videos I’ve ever seen.  Thank you Lord for creativity and the ability to enjoy it.

Seems this has been a month full of beautiful music.  I saw Sufjan Stevens last week, Jonsi (from Sigur Ros) this week and still trying to charm my way into Mumford and Sons tickets for the Dallas show.  So good.

Pumpkins and Such

October 12, 2010

Well it’s been a few days since I’ve blogged and that’s because I’ve been so incredibly busy the past week.  I got back from Portland last night around midnight and came home to an apartment full of good friends.  They were in town for the evening and needed a place to crash so, of course, I welcomed them.

My heart and soul are so full from the beauty I was surrounded by the past week.  I’m still a little sleepy so this post will mainly be pictures from the past week.  Yes, I’m openly being lazy.  Forgive me.

I flew out last Wednesday and the days went by like a whirlwind as I balanced work and play. 

{view from the hotel}

On Thursday, I accompanied Karen James (one of the speakers at the Women of Faith event) to Mt Hood.  My job on the road has me accompanying our speakers and musicians to interviews outside of the conference.  This was a very unique and heartbreaking visit to Mt Hood, where we were met with video cameras and reporters.  You can read the entire Karen James story here. I’m still processing a lot of what happened that weekend but will probably write about it later on this week.  After the visit, I chose the long way back to the hotel.  Basically I got lost on purpose, knowing I would find this…

{iPhone photos of one of my favorite places in Oregon}

It was a much needed drive through beautiful country.  Plus, I hugged and kissed a tree to prove my devotion.  Pretty things capture my heart every time.  The remaining days in Portland were full of being surrounded by friends that I love, worship services that moved my spirit, working for a company that I admire and respect, a huge muddy disaster of a pumpkin patch, award worthy mustaches, hugs, the most amazing food you’ve ever experienced, coffee, lots of laughter, voo doo donuts, a few more hugs, walks through the city, new friends, reunions, a teary goodbye, and much more….

{First Thursday}

{coffee and good conversation}

{Portland Women of Faith…my favorite event to work every year}

{Taylor – we finally met in real life!  He’s a kind soul and a delight to be around.}

{Cha Cha Cha with Justin! My first ever Portland friend and somebody whose friendship and opinion I respect deeply.}

{Fall Party Day at the Wilder’s home and the pumpkin patch}

{Erin (she got cut off! NO!), Liz, Jamie, myself and Shawna at the pumpkin patch}

{fall yummy goodness}

{slay me with this perfection}

{muddy disaster and sadly my boots on the right didn’t survive}

{an entire hayride full of some of my favorite people in the universe}

{Emily Wilder and her perfect pumpkin.  This little lady opened up her home to so many of us (about 25 people!) and cooked for three days straight as she prepared for the fall party.  I asked if I could bring anything to contribute and she said that her and her adorable hubby have a budget for giving to other people so she didn’t want anything in return.  That’s amazing.  Seriously.}

{Josh Wilder – Emily’s man!!}

{Abe and his glorious mustache}

{Parker and Adam’s chin….HA!}

{love}

{Erin and Shawna – two gals that mean the world to me}

{Voo Doo Donuts and a sugar high}

{we chose this instead of sleep}

{Best donut choice ever! It’s so pretty!!!} 

This trip was so good for me.  I think the people in these photos (and some that weren’t showed) are some of the most selfless and loving people I’ve ever been around.  I love them deeply and cannot wait to go back.  I’ll admit it…I cried on the way back to Texas.  Not so much because I didn’t want to return home but mainly because I want the community in Dallas that my sweet friends have in Portland.  I just want to be a part of something like that and have no clue how to get there.  Sigh…one day.  Until I figure it out I’ll just dress like a Portlandian…

{the plaid…duh}

Hey Portland, I love you with the deepest parts of my soul and I’m so thankful for the time spent there because it awakens something in me.  I hope everyone has a place like that.  It’s lovely to be a part of.  I’m thankful for their willingness to accept me into their little family, even when I only have a few times a year to be a part of it.