Sunday, June 12, 2011
There is just one problem.
When everything is over, and they decide that I am well and healthy again, I will have to leave.
It's hard to explain how much I love being at the program. The days are long, the groups are exhausting and the little thing we have to do every day at 8:30, 10:30, 12:30, 3:30, and 6:30 is draining and emotional. But I am surrounded and lifted up by the most amazing group of girls I have ever, ever known, and I make it through each day with the knowledge that I am cared about. My journey, (and for those who don't know, I'll tell you someday) is a long one, and it's far from over. I expect to struggle for a long time, and I'm not one hundred percent sure that I'll ever be able to shut this out of my life completley, but I do know that for now, Courtney, Charlotte, Holly, Vivian, Leah, Kimberley, Cayman, Ali, Joan, Liz, Lauren, Hannah, Kenedy, Mikayla, and Alicea are what keep me going right now. I am so grateful that I get to spend all day with them!
(But for the record, I miss all of my "old" friends too. & Lindsey, if you're reading this, I was touched by your post. I mostly miss that someone [you] too.)
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
The thing is, today in Texas was a blue-sky, summer-sun, friend-filled perfect day. I got a tan (okay, more of a sunburn, but it's still color) and I went for a bike ride with my hair down and loose. I didn't put a pair of shoes on my barefoot feet all day (not even to ride my bike) and I laid out by the pool, absorbing the heat and the fresh air and all that is good and glorious on days like this.
And tomorrow, I leave this beautiful weather to spend my Spring Break where it is cold and windy and still snowing in March, with the one member of my family who I feel the farthest from. What am I thinking?
Okay, so it's New York. The weather is not going to be that bad. The sights I will get to see will make up for the lost time in the sun. Hopefully my dad and I will grow closer as a result of spending a solid week together without the other half of our family. And I'll turn sixteen at the top of Rockefeller Center! It will be fun, and I'm looking forward to it.
...But I still can't shake the fact that I am beginning to appreciate things that I never thought I would appreciate. Like living in Texas, where warm days start to show themselves sooner in the year than many places. And the fact that I can spend the day outside, away from technology, work, arguments, and material possessions and still have a blast and feel at peace. Several years ago, I wouldn't have been capable of appreciating these small pleasures.
So I'm going to go into this vacation with great expectations. I'm going to let myself enjoy all that the city has to offer, and remind myself how lucky I am. I am going to bundle up, stick close to my dad, and try my hardest not to look like a tourist, and I am going to fufill my childhood dream of visiting NYC.
I know I'm going to have such a great experience on this trip, and I can't wait for it to start. This post was more about celebrating the fact that I am now really starting to see what it feels like to appreciate the home I've always known, and how blessed I am to be able to enjoy myself in two totally and completley different enviornments...
See ya'll in a week!
Monday, March 7, 2011
I heard them growing up, and they've always been on my ipod, but they were just sort of one those bands that were just kind of...on there, you know? Other examples would be, hmm, Snoop Dogg and Elton John. Not on my typical need-to-listen playlist.
A long time ago, I memorized one of Swithfoot's songs, Gone. Last night, I found myself singing it, and I was surprised to still remember it, but once I sang it once, I sang it again. And again. And again. And pretty, soon, I was completely focused on singing that song rather than what I had been focused on, which was what had happened that evening (whole other story..)
I also love the song Enough to Let Me Go, which I first heard on my friend Lindsey's ipod. Both of these songs are currently on my mind and in my ears, and I think you should check them out. :)
Saturday, March 5, 2011
"You can't get to where you're going without accepting where you're coming from."
Thinking about what that means, I realize that it is so true. I have this problem with getting stuck- I often look at what is happening and don't think about ways to solve it, but rather how "unfair" it is that I have to be going through it in the first place. I have found myself, time after time, so angry and unhappy with the way things happen, and yet I choose to simply sit and wallow and pout instead of taking steps to change it. I don't know why I do this. It doesn't get me where I want to be. I recognize that I am doing it, and yet I still persist. I need to come to the radical acceptance that yes, unexpected, unfortunate, sometimes just plain unfair things will happen to me, but if I don't have the ability to accept them and begin pushing towards resolving them, they will stick with me, a constant thorn in my side.
It's time to stop letting my pain and anger hold me back from where I want to end up, because quite frankly,
Monday, February 14, 2011
I was so excited and so glad to have come up with the best plan, ever.
Everything was going to go as planned, and it would have been a treat for everyone involved.
We both worked so hard to set this up.
And now it can't even happen.
I should've known.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People need help, but may attack you if you try to help them.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
If you followed ANY of that, welcome to my world right now.
Friday, December 24, 2010
this one day, when cheesy carols are dancing through our ears every minute,
when lights are kept on all night,
when fights are forgotten and all is forgiven,
when traditions are upheld no matter the situation,
when everyone sits down at the dinner table and the voices in the room don't come from the tv,
when calories and meal plans and healthy eating doesn't matter,
when new, soft, warm pajamas are given and laughed about,
when staying home with the family is more desirable than going out with friends,
when it's cold outside but warm everywhere else, from the living room with a fire to a stomach full of hot chocolate,
when everything slows and is such a perfect kind of peace that you wish it could stay like that forever,
that is the holidays, and that is when i am most happy.
that's when i feel infinite.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go be a part of the family time that is happening in my living room. :)
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
this is going to be me soon. By soon of course I mean in several months, but soon enough. I can't believe that the years have flown by the way they have. In my chemistry class, we had a substitute that was a retired middle school teacher and I could swear that I recognized him, and I realized that he was my homeroom teacher in 7th grade. That was three years ago! It seemed like last week!
Also, I can't believe that my VERY LAST VOLLEYBALL GAME is coming up. Next Tuesday will be the last time I step on the court as a part of the Champion volleyball team, or as a part of any team at all. Volleyball has been what I've been a part for years now, and I know that I will be a little lost without it for a while, but I am confident that I will find my path. Although I will dearly miss volleyball, I know that in order to prepare myself for what I plan on doing in college, I simply have to cut it out of my schedule. I think the thing I will miss the most will be spending time with the girls on my team who I have gotten to know better and really love!
What I'm getting at, is that it is crazy how fast everything moves. I find myself nervous and anxious for the future, but I can't wait to find out what this world has in store for me.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
My favorite thing is when I go downstairs and my mom has made me the best breakfast I could ask for, without me even asking.
My favorite thing is doing my hair and having it work out exactly how I wanted it, the first time I try.
My favorite thing is when my sister asks me for help picking out an outfit, and when she puts it on, seeing her finally smile.
My favorite thing is when I get to school and am greeted with a hug.
My favorite thing is when my photography teacher praises my work and wants to see more.
My favorite thing is getting back a test that I was nervous about and making a really good grade.
My favorite thing is sitting at lunch, looking around, and realizing that there is no one else I would rather sit with, because the girls around me are already my best friends.
My favorite thing is having only three periods per day, because volleyball doesn't count.
My favorite thing is doing something good in volleyball and getting a little bit of a confidence boost.
My favorite thing is having a study group with two close friends that ends up being "girl bonding time."
My favorite thing is coming home and not having any homework that needs to be done.
My favorite thing is going outside with a TeenVogue and sitting in the hammock.
My favorite thing is eating dinner as a family around the rarely-used kitchen table.
My favorite thing is laughing my head off at the new episode of The Office.
My favorite thing is taking a shower and automatically "washing off" the day, but then realizing that it was a great day and doesn't need "washing off."
My favorite thing is falling right asleep as I lay down, and not waking up all night.
My favorite thing is feeling so grateful for everything I've been blessed with, and hoping that I realize it more often.
When I left, I didn't actually think I would miss it; I thought I would enjoy having everything here that I didn't have there, but I would give up all of this if I could go back to Uganda right now.
I'm starting to think that decorating my binder with pictures of Africa wasn't the greatest idea, because now I'm reminded of how much I wish I was there everytime I see it. :(
I miss Violet and Brian so much.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
1. Get my priorities in order. It's time for me to take a step back and take a long, hard look at what's really important in my life. I've spent way too long focusing on things that either hurt me, disappoint me, or leave me when they get used up. I know the things that are important, now I just need the will to stick with them.
2. Get it done, and get it done right. Whatever I do, whenever I do it. It may be an essay, it may be a volleyball practice. Regardless if it is something I like to do or not, I need to complete it to the best of my ability, every time.
3. Have a better attitude. Basically about everything. I have proven to myself that having a good attitude improves every situation countless times, and yet I still struggle with negativity.
4. Be bolder. My timidness has gotten me almost nowhere, and I'm sick of feeling like I'm never heard. I know it has alot to do with my confidence level, but I want to be known as someone other than "Lainey's sister." I don't want to be an afterthought any more!
5. Make a new friend. I stepped out of my comfort zone and got to know a new girl freshman year, and she is now my best friend!
6. Take personal responsibility. It's up to me and only me to make this year my best yet. I need to quit blaming others for my mistakes and accept that I can't have it all together all the time.
7. Stop trying to mold myself into a way that seems to be what others want. This is such a hard one, because I have struggled for so long with not feeling funny enough or talkative enough, and that makes me feel like I'm not liked enough. But even when I fake it, everyone can tell, and it doesn't make me feel any better. It's time to be myself, and I think I will really find out who my real friends are by doing this. There is one friend in particular that has given me the strength to commit to this, because she has told me more than once that my quiet, reserved, and slightly sarcastic personality is exactly what she loves so much about me. That was just the push I needed, to know that there are people out there who will appreciate me for who I am, not who I pretend to be.
8. Volleyball. I'm not 100 percent sure what my goal for this is, I just know that something needs to change.
9. Get a "body-image booster". Find a new look, a haircut, an outfit, or a makeup trick that bumps up my self-esteem and makes me feel better about myself, if only for a short time. I read this in a magazine, and it said that girls who experiment and find something that makes them like what they see in the mirror have a better day overall. It's definitley worth a try.
10. Live fully, faithfully, and fantastically. I want to do things that are out of my comfort zone and push myself to a level that I've never been to before, in the hopes of having an experience that is memorable beyond belief. I want to take my life from my own hands and place in the Lord's. There is no way that I am going to be able to make it through without His guidance, I've tried and failed too many times. I'm still going to mess up, and I'll probably have to renew my faith again and again and again this year, but each time brings me closer to where I long to be. The thing is, I want to be real with my faith. I want people to see that I'm not perfect and I'm not "changed", but I'm trying. I don't want to be that girl who says the Lord is at work in her life and then does everything to prove it untrue. If I'm struggling with my faith, I'm not going to pretend that I'm not, and that's one of my biggest annoyances. Sorry guys, but you can't "change" from a week of camp!
Will I live up to these goals? Who knows, ask me again at the start of junior year.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
That didn't happen. The first night, I was laying in a hot, stuffy room, on a sheet that was scratchy and with my head on a pillowcase that smelled nothing like home. My body smelled like bug spray and the mosquito net around me that kept swishing across my cheek reminded me of how many diseases I could get even by just laying there. It was dark, I felt filthy, and the square window that was cut out of the wall had nothing on it to keep the night out. I was terrified, and all of the sudden I started to cry. I seriously couldn't help myself; I asked myself, out loud, "Why are you here?" The only place I wanted to be at that moment was home, in my cozy, safe bed in my cozy, safe house where I felt cozy and safe. I wished so badly that I hadn't made the decision to come on the trip, and I just wept because of it. As I thought more about why the heck I had wanted to come to such a horrible, uncomfortable place in the first place, I got really honest with myself- I was in major denial. I had told myself and others that I wanted to go and make a difference in someone's life, to give them hope and a way to push into the future. And I did want that, deep down. But on top of all that, the primary reason I had wanted to go to Africa so badly was so that I could say I've been to Africa. I would have bragging rights, people would be jealous and amazed and wish they could say the same. I would have something that most of my friends didn't, and I could wave it in their faces. (Reading over this, that sounds so selfish! So much more than when I was thinking it in my head..) I knew that that reason would never work with my mom, so I pushed it out of the way and hid it, pretending that I wanted to go purely out of the goodness of my heart. Laying there in a strange bed in a strange country that first night, I realized that having "bragging rights" was not worth it. I just wanted to go home.
As the trip went on, I got more comfortable and started to really enjoy Africa. Of course, there were times on the trip where I was really homesick and longed to be able to enjoy the luxuries of what I had at home, but the good was outweighing the bad. I was developing relationships with the kids, I was familiar with the smells and sights and sounds of Iganga, the town we were in for most of the trip, and I was sleeping easier. But something was still missing- As each day passed, I wasn't getting that "Aha! This is what I'm supposed to do for the rest of my life!" moment. Many of the others on the trip seemed to have a real heart for what they were doing; it was truly their calling, and for some reason I needed it to be mine too, but it wasn't! Each day I kept getting more frustrated, and on the tenth day we were in Uganda, the Lord revealed to me where my true heart lies- In Russia. (Bear with me, I know this sounds a little weird!)
Truly, as I looked out the window of our bus, and saw the busy streets of Iganga, it was like the world I was looking at was transformed. I was no longer in Africa, but instead I was in Russia, on a snow-covered street, helping the orphaned children who were freezing to death in the snow. I literally knew in that moment that those were the people I was created to help. I told my mom about this, and she agreed that we should start planning a mission trip to Russia in a year or two, when I could go by myself. This was probably the biggest realization and encounter with God of my life, and it never would've happened if I didn't visit Africa!
Now, don't get me wrong, I loved being able to help those people, and bringing a smile to their faces was definitley worthwhile. I would for sure want to come back to Africa again, but I now know that it is not my calling to serve there. It was an awesome experience and I have loads of stories and memories to share from it, and I feel extremely blessed and grateful that I was able to go and hope to return in the future!