"Sometimes you've got to learn to love what's good for you."

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"In the end, it doesn't matter how many breaths you took but how many moments took your breath away."

empire state of mind.

empire state of mind.

i'll remember these times

i'll remember these times

embrace it all

embrace it all

my little furry buddha

my little furry buddha
Proverbs 31:30
Jeremiah 29:11
Romans 9:25


thugz ferr lyfeee

thugz ferr lyfeee

fearfully and wonderfully made

fearfully and wonderfully made

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free falling

free falling

such a tourist

such a tourist

live well, laugh often.

live well, laugh often.

oh heyyy spanish.

oh heyyy spanish.

ain't no sunshine when you're gone.

ain't no sunshine when you're gone.

shorrrty.

shorrrty.

oh, how i love us.

oh, how i love us.

i love lindsey!

i love lindsey!

dreamland.

dreamland.

rocket launcher, best friend

rocket launcher, best friend

somewhere beyond the sea

somewhere beyond the sea

there's no "i" in team...but there's an "i" in WIN!

there's no "i" in team...but there's an "i" in WIN!

the price of beauty.

the price of beauty.

you're my cuppycake.

you're my cuppycake.

this is what good times look like.

this is what good times look like.

catybug

catybug

out where the sun shines.

out where the sun shines.

sweet like key lime pie.

sweet like key lime pie.

bus rides are the bombb.

bus rides are the bombb.

all that i'm after is a life full of laughter.

all that i'm after is a life full of laughter.

i absolutley adore you

i absolutley adore you

y e s .

y e s .

our sunday best.

our sunday best.

let's be friends when we're all old.

let's be friends when we're all old.

forever & always

forever & always

the two musketeers.

the two musketeers.

lovely ladies

lovely ladies

whata doll.

whata doll.

things go swimmingly

things go swimmingly

unbreakable.

unbreakable.

It's A Wonderful Life

It's A Wonderful Life

let's hear it for the girls

let's hear it for the girls

"We, we don't, we don't sweat we glisten 'cause we're women, say it, say it, say it."

"We, we don't, we don't sweat we glisten 'cause we're women, say it, say it, say it."

around the campfire.

around the campfire.

like cats and dogs.

like cats and dogs.

Hun er min skinnende stjerne .

Hun er min skinnende stjerne .

seester frannnd.

seester frannnd.

check us out.

check us out.

Pine Cove is where it's at.

Pine Cove is where it's at.

i [heart] awkward pictures.

i [heart] awkward pictures.

your love is strong.

your love is strong.

i'm alive again.

i'm alive again.
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oh glorious day.

oh glorious day.

some memories are just perfect.

some memories are just perfect.

this is how we do it.

this is how we do it.

lover boy.

lover boy.

sit back and wade through the daylight.

sit back and wade through the daylight.

Wrap You Up & Take You Home.

Wrap You Up & Take You Home.

To See You Smile...

To See You Smile...

we're totes adorb.

we're totes adorb.

you bring out the weirdest in me.

you bring out the weirdest in me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sophomore.

Goals for my tenth-grade year:

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

My African Experience.

As you might have known, I just got back today from a 15-day long mission trip to Uganda, in Africa. It was exhausting, saddening, joyous, and incredible all rolled up into one. Going over there, I was expecting to have an immediate connection with the people of Africa. I thought that helping them was going to be my calling, and that if I experienced it firsthand, I would truly know for sure.
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!