Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tough Stuff

After a recent in-depth discussion with some fellow believers about some of the difficult questions in life, I grew burdened about the average churchgoer's level of understanding of basic doctrinal truths. The conversation spun off of the initial question: Where did evil come from? Did God create it? Did it start with Adam and Eve? Did it come into being when Lucifer fell?

These are all good questions, and I can't say that we reached a consensus answer. And it's a bit irrelevant, whatever the answer is, because it doesn't change Who God is, or who we are, or what we're called to do. So I'm gonna move on to my source of concern.

Here are a couple of the truths somewhat debated. I warn you; these are not happy topics. There will be no Joel Osteen sermon here. We're talking about sin: the reality of it, the weight of it, and how God views it.

1. Hell is real, and people apart from Christ are condemned to it.
2. God in His infinite justice punishes sin. God in His infinite love provided salvation from that punishment through Christ's death and resurrection on the cross.
3. God hates sin. Read any books start to finish from the Old Testament and read where God tells His people and prophets to completely wipe out whole people groups. I mean, have we forgotten the story of Noah? He just started all over. Sodom and Gomorrah? Need I go on?
4. Anyone who does not know Christ is dead in their sin and deserves hell. It's a tough one, but if the consequences for sin are not that dire, then why did Christ have to die? If you have trouble with this concept, I challenge you to ask God to show you the weight of sin. Let me warn you that this is not a pleasant answer, but it's one that will stay with you.

So yes, these concepts should light a fire under us as Christ's followers to go tell people about their need for Him and the free gift of salvation and eternal life offered through Him WITH THE UNDERSTANDING that He IS sovereign. He WILL accomplish His will. He desires to bring people to Him more than you do. And you are (or I am) not big enough to mess that up. It's ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit in a man's heart that brings a man to know Christ. We are simply the vessels that get to be a part of the process sometimes.

Please understand that these are not concepts that are usually appropriate in evangelistic settings, but as believers, we need to know what the Bible says about Who God is, what He does, and who we are in light of that. My concern is that the life-long church-goer can't say with confidence that they are certain about these things based on revelation from Scripture.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Viva Las Vegas

So I went...and I saw. And I'm glad to be back in Tac-town. Even though most of WA south of me is under water. Nice reception. I enjoyed getting to spend time with work people outside of work. Callie got a bigger dose of me than I'm sure she ever hoped for. But we had fun bonding, laughing, learning, and discussing life. I feel really blessed to be a part of such a great program with great people in a great area. Enough of the "great"s.

It was also the bomb to get to see Donna, Leela, and some of my old UT crew. I would have loved to sit down with every old pharmacy friend from around the country (old ASP peeps included) and discuss our journey post-graduation, but time didn't allow. It was at least nice to share a smile, a hug, and maybe even a 2-minute update.

Overall, it left me tired, a bit pensive, and ready for the weekend. I'm trying to learn this whole "live in the now" and stop wishing your life away. So far, I get an F.

I will say I had one of the neatest conversations with a pharmacy director from Cali at dinner one night. A very smart man working for a Catholic group was explaining to me how the nuns who run the organization expect the leadership to conduct themselves the way Jesus would. After I mentioned my desire to do missions and the basis of my faith (which was based on a personal relationship, not on rituals), he was extremely intrigued about this new concept of Christianity he had never encountered before. I wasn't expecting to have one of the best evangelistic conversations of my life that night. I'm glad that God uses me despite my inconsistent focus.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Somebody help me...

Why can't I love people? Especially when I want to, need to, and try to really hard? Why am I not nicer? If we as Christians don't love people, who's gonna? They will know us by our love, right? Is there a special prayer I can pray so that He'll drop it off in my heart? Lord, please help me to love everyone and hold my tongue and my thoughts when I can't!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Cheers to newness

I've always belonged to the school of thought that lines and principles and precepts protect. They ward off danger. They prevent scars. Most of my life has been lived with this outlook at the forefront. I'm definitely no scaredy-cat, so please understand that I hide behind this mentality most often in reference to matters of the heart.

In terms of calculating risk and acting on the conclusion, that's usually not my style. I would jump out of a plane with a parachute (but haven't done this yet). I would fly across an ocean to spend a month in Europe with a classmate. I would move across the country to live and work in a land where I know no one. Okay, so none of it's that dramatic. I'm just trying to make a point. My point is that these things sound exciting. Sign me up.

However, any social situation that I haven't initiated or somehow obtained semi-conrol over freaks me out. Neurosis for days. I think too much, talk too much, and no one enjoys it. Ask family and friends. They will confirm.

But today, I took a step. After much mulling (on my part) and encouragement (on my friends' part), I left those precepts (read: the cage) by the wayside and did something out of character. And it was, of course, nothing to be afraid of. No big deal. That's what's on the other side of that fear: nothing lost. And maybe a little freedom gained.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Here's what we did Sunday night.
The group is as follows (L to R): Jason, Charles, Ronnie (girl), Jonathan, Lauren, Sheena, Liane, Alyson, and Tucker (dog)

We did this Alyson's. That is her stoop above and her pumpkin below.

Jason Burke's creation. It's "AROMA" for our coffee house group on Thursdays.

This is Jonathan's. Pizza and a coke. Making you hungry?

Liane's is the cute little squash. Mine is the one with swoopy bangs.

This is Ronnie's creepy tree. Good times!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Captivating by John and Stasi Eldridge

This book is the follow=up to Wild at Heart, the book about how godly men should actually pursue their rugged adventure because that is what they were built for. I've never actually read it, but I do remember some key points. Men desire three things:
  1. To live an adventure
  2. To fight for something
  3. To discover beauty
Women also wants three things at their core that actually coincide. God knew what He was doing here. Surprise!
  1. To join in the adventure
  2. To be fought for
  3. To have her beauty discovered
These make sense to me, and I wasn't surprised or super-enlightened when I heard them. They made sense, so I just added this to the repertoire of small sermonettes that may come in handy.

However, this week, the new book for women (the title of this post) has been rocking my face off. Stasi describes that men and women are made in God's image (Gen. 1:26-27, nothing new), but she goes on to say that men represent God's strength and His power. Here's the take-home: what makes men attractive? STRENGTH. Hold up, let me finish. I'm NOT talking about meat-head in the gym strength. I'm talking about strength of character, fighting for what's right, defending those that are weaker than you. THAT is super-attractive. You think about the heroes in the movies. What makes them studs? Their character, conviction, and drive to set things right (examples: Gladiator, Braveheart, The Last Samurai).

Women represent God's beauty. What makes women attractive? BEAUTY. And not as defined by Elle or Cosmo magazine. We all know drop-dead gorgeous girls that no ones wants to be around and certainly not date simply because they have bad attitudes. No, a woman's beauty is defined by her heart. When a woman is loving, compassionate, and serves the needs of those around her, that's attractive. Men can say a lot of things about appearance and such, but I would dare to say that the only aspect that truly pulls at a man's heart would be the genuine compassion and encouragement found in the heart of a woman.

It brings up all new objectives in terms of self-improvement. I'm challenged not to find the best new product to prevent fine lines around my eyes. I'm challenged to learn to love better, to think of others first, and to battle the urge to self-protect. Stasi mentions that sharing your beauty as a woman will make a difference in your world, but it's a process to make your heart vulnerable. Isn't that the title of my blog or something?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Turning the Corner

I'm roundin' it, homes. It's invigorating. I'm reading up on a neuro-muscular disease for a presentation tomorrow for my neonatal intensive care rotation (NICU for all my medical friends), and I'm loving it. I don' think it can be credited solely to the fact that I had coffee earlier, either. I seriously am enthralled.

This week has been very interesting. The amount of assignments and the weight of my workload has only increased. Very few items have been completed and removed from the To-do list. But after freaking out and asking for much prayer from friends and family...something's changed.

Being at the hospital ~ 12 hours Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday was not that bad. I even worked on some stuff before I went to bed as well. For my other friends doing a residency and especially those doing their medical residency, I probably sound like a lightweight. But for me, this is huge. I'm very selfish with my time, and I have expectations as to how long I think it should take me to complete assignments. Plus, I've never let one thing (job, school, etc.) completely monopolize my life. Call it a weakness, lack of discipline, whatever you want. But I'm not sorry for it.

However, now there's a new motivation. I truly want to know. I want to grow as a practitioner. Sometimes I truly don't mind putting it extra time, coming up with my own little assignments to consolidate what I'm learning, or provide myself a quick reference in the future. God is truly affirming where I am, what I'm doing, and why He's brought me down this path.

Once again, story of my life: I am blown away by the evidence of His faithfulness. He is truly validating Psalm 37:4 by putting in my heart the desires that it should have in order for me to live my life to the fullest (John 10:10). And I'm delighted in Him.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

If you would have asked me on Wednesday of last week, I wouldn't have had any spectacular expectations for this weekend. However, it was a bombin' one (maybe un milagro, one might say). lol. insider. My buddy Justin (from the GBC crew in Memphis and Zach's old roommate), who now lives and works near Boise, drove over with a friend heading to Seattle. It was a good opportunity for him to ride along and head on down to Tacoma and see me.

We were out all day Saturday fighting the fog and trying to see the sights around Tacoma. It ended up being a gorgeous day. Good food, good times, good friends, good weekend. I will purposely fail to mention details about the worst bowling I've done in years.

With bowling and church today, Justin got to meet most of the people in my life here outside of work. After he left, lunch, and a nap, I headed out with some friends to Wild Waves, a huge amusement park here on I-5. One of my friends from church works there and got us passes to ride the rides and go through the haunted house. It was really fun. I felt kinda old. I haven't ridden carnival rides in ages. But along with Ari, a college freshman, I rode almost all the big ones. The haunted house got a couple of screams outta me, and I definitely had a death grip on the person in front of and behind me.

Overall, great weekend. Now back to the grind...ugh.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Of course it happened today...

I let Jada talk me into looking like a scrub to fly back to Seattle this morning. I at least had a small amount of makeup on when I was sitting in the Memphis airport, talking with my mom on my cell, and people-watching. I notice an attractive guy pretty far off, and as he comes closer, familiarity begins to materialize. And then I can't believe it! It was NOAH WYLE with David Schwimmer, strolling through the Memphis airport! David was about two feet from me, wearing two different forms of camouflage and making me feel much better about my clothing choice.

I neglected my initial reflex to run up and ask them for a photo. I decided to be too old for that. But it's still a cool story. Now if it woulda been John Krasinski, I would've had a pic to post.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Okay, okay, I get it...

I've decided to take the plunge. After two different instances of being questioned and explaining my stance on things, I've changed my mind. And I still haven't decided what the right choice is.

Those who know me well know that I have a small band with the words "TRUE LOVE WAITS" that I wear on my left ring finger...a.k.a. the "here's-how-you-know-whether-I'm-taken" finger. Since I've been in Tacoma, I've had one in-depth conversation with an endocrinologist in which the man assured me that I was deterring all respectable, date-able guys wearing it on that hand. The other night my grandmother asked me about it, and it came up again tonight with my friends at dinner.

Initially my thoughts were that it provides a good filter. Any person would have to get to know me at least a little bit before they asked me out. I figured that saves them money and both of us time. Seriously, I'm a handful. It's only to the kid's advantage that he figure that out beforehand. The fact that I'm never seen with a guy and work with the SINGLE'S group at church is clear enough to me.

I had originally thought I could wait a couple more years before I made the switch. I think I saw it as a last-ditch effort. Wow, this sounds sad. But maybe it's more about correct representation and keeping your options open. I still haven't decided.

All of this led to my ultimate decision: tonight I switched the ring to my right hand. My friend Donna made a good point: most guys get confused about which hand it is anyway. But I still feel a twinge of being a sell-out. I even called a couple of trusted guy friends to ask their opinion. They of course didn't answer the phone. So I need some feedback. Help a sister out.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

After staffing an incredibly too-busy weekend, I can't tell you how great it feels to know I'll be hopping a plane tomorrow to my homeland. Can't wait to see everyone!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why is it that you learn the most about yourself in high-stress situations or those that evoke strong emotional response? Today was one of those. As a learner, you're constantly in a cycle of ignorance then mastery. I sometimes struggle when the bouts of ignorance are brought to light by those supervising you. And more than that, so much of it has to do with the style in which the enlightenment or the drilling (that's how it fills most of the time) is delivered.

Couple with this the face that I'm too proud. I know humility is a struggle for me. It's a constant prayer request and sometimes when it's answered, I feel pain. When people make me feel stupid, especially in front of other people, my pride gets pricked. And I don't respond well. It usually evokes an animosity deep within me that brings pictures of physical retaliation in my head. Thankfully, I'm old enough now to not follow every instinct.

Now I'm left to respond as an adult. It's a good trial. Life's not easy, and I'm rarely the boss. Therefore, there will undoubtedly be more of these uncomfortable situations. As a pro-active person (that I'm trying to be) instead of a reactive person, I decide how I will respond in these circumstances.

So what did I do? I took a really long nap.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fried Pickles

Today was my debut at church as a greeter. It was also "nametag Sunday", so I had a great excuse to walk up to people, ask their name, and their favorite fair food. (Evidently, the bottom part of your nametage contains your answer to a question posed for the day). I had forgotten how natural it is for me to walk up to strangers and engage them in conversation. It was great. I really enjoy it. I had forgotten.

My answer to the question was fried pickles, which was befuddling to the people of the Pacific Northwest, since they had never experienced fried pickles. But I distinctly remember my first encounter. It was the midsouth fair in Memphis. I don't remember who I was with at the time, but I remember loving them...with ketchup or ranch, these things are money. I didn't let my church friends make squeamish faces long before I forced them to admit they'd never actually tried them. That negates one's opinions on anything edible.

Then I myself had my first Washington State fair experience. I mainly went because people kept raving about certain foods that I needed to experience. Today was the last day after two weeks, and it was still packed out! I won't list all the foods I partook of except for the scones. They were money. They were pretty much all they had been talked up to be...and more if you consider the price. It's just a little sweet biscuit with butter and jam. But man, it's good.

That's pretty much all we did...that, and people watch. Always fun.

This is my last week rotating in pediatrics. I'll be kinda sad to leave this area. I really found a niche there. We'll see if I still feel drawn to it after my other rotations. And another good thing about this week ending is that I go home to visit in a week! How exciting!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I can tell it's Monday

So far I've managed to
  • get a blister on my heel from my awesome rain boots that the weather warranted for my walk to work

  • print two beastly documents to a phantom printer

  • set off the exit alarm in the children's hospital by pushing the door before it read my badge

  • go the wrong way once I did find a stairwell sans alarm and had to walk back up two flights now instead


last night I had one of the coolest bowling experiences of my life. I had a 6-10 split after bowling right down the middle. So I thought I'd be clever and bowl with both hands. I put a 12-pound ball in my right and left hand and made my usual release. The two balls traveled down the lane pretty smoothly, bumped each other about midway down, and traveled out to level the pesky pins that thought they had me beat! It was awesome! I couldn't believe it. I will never be able to reproduce it, but I did have witnesses. I can get you names and numbers if you need them.

And yes, this was the coolest part of my weekend. It's okay if you're a little jealous.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Everyone please check out Pastor Sam's blog from my blog roll (click on SAM SHAW on the left) and check out the video...HI-larious!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lil Update...

So I've noticed no one comments when I get super-deep with my post topic on's kinda like giving a speech, finishing, and the room just sits in silence. But that's an acceptable response, it's kinda like trying to find words when someone's really upset or something. Maybe it's best to just quietly console? No big deal, just observation. Moving on...

Went to a concert with one of my new friends here, a cool transplant from Texas who actually knows one of my college buddies (Burgett) because they both work for NAMB (google it). We saw Phil Wickham, who I've enjoyed the music of for at least two years and never gotten to see because he kinda stays toward the west coast.

I'm also loving my pediatrics rotation this month. It's fast-paced but I get to round every morning with an attending, two medical residents, and 3 medical students. It's good times, and I actually feel like I make a contribution. Other than that, nothing doing. I get to go home after this rotation! Yay, back to Tenne-too hot (in the words of the great Ben Bredow) to see my friends and fam! And be in a wedding. Good times.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Reaction vs. Response

As part of the management portion of our residency, we began reading the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I initially expected the book to be a bit cheesy and super-business-focused. Much to my surprise, the first two chapters (the intro and the first habit) were incredibly insightful. He addressed so much about our culture, and how we as individuals can better ourselves for the sake of society as a whole.

One of the main points (or maybe for me the most convicting point) was to be a responsive person as opposed to being a reactive person. Reactive people are at the mercy of their environment, their situation, and the world's effect on them. Responsive people take all that into account but believe they can effect change by making choices that dictate their emotions, thoughts, and actions. I'm a passionate person (do you hear the tone of excuse in my words?), so reaction is what people can usually bank on with me. That's why I'm a fun target for picking at, people find it amusing to get me riled up...and it usually doesn't take much or long for that to occur. I've never minded this; I've even learned to play off it in order to get to know people, entertain a group, etc. However, in the work setting, particularly one of high stress, it is nothing but a burden. It certainly doesn't improve or optimize workflow.

Last night I came home pondering the implications of the various points made during our book discussion. I decided to turn on the tv and found that my cable wasn't working. I just thought it was probably out in the area, no big deal. They will probably fix it soon. Later on I decided to check my internet. My whole connectivity was gone. I called Comcast; they had no sufficient answer to my dilemma and promised to send someone the next day.

After calling and venting to my mom (this whole situation for some reason pushed me past some tipping point; I'm hoping hormones were a little to blame), I decided to turn on my computer and listen to music. What better to time to optimize my itunes playlists? I was listening to a Bethany Dillon song (She's a Christian singer and her music is amazing), and my heart fell open. Seriously, I was overwhelmed with a sense of deep repentance and convictional purging. I realized it had taken God cutting me off to get me alone with Him, to get my full attention. I was broken. I missed that. It is such a cleansing experience, and I really couldn't tell you the last time I experienced it. I was thankful...for the lesson but mostly for the encounter.

Here's the gist: GOD PURSUES US...for some reason. I've never understood it fully. But He, in His infinite wisdom and love, has decided to go before us and hem us in behind. I'm never outside of His hand...but sometimes He cups His hand close against His heart.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Too Much To Post...

Dad and Lecia left today after being here for a few days. It was great. I got to show them my life here and experience a little luxury at the same time. We took an overnight trip to Seattle and went whale-watching up around the San Juan Islands. It was very neat. I love both my huge families, but I must say there's something so rich about spending time with just the parentals. I don't ever wish I was an only child (seriously, my sibs are awesome), but visits from both parent couples have been unique and priceless.

Being with people who know you that well can be a little grounding. I had forgotten what it's like not to be able to control what people perceive about you. Maybe THAT'S what I really enjoy so much about new-ness...the naivety. I hope I'm wrong, but it was a rude awakening when Dad and Lecia were sometimes able to call me out about different things I'm not so happy with about my life right now. It was refreshing.

And now I have the responsibility of addressing my issues. I thought I could live around them...pretend they weren't with things until I had something else to replace them.

But there's a bigger draw going on here. If my earthly father who loves me more than I may ever know is concerned about me and wants me to be happy, how much more does the Father Who thought of me and orchestrated my design before I was a zygote want those same things for me? Why do I assume that God always wants me to be better and to grow and to improve? Why do I think that it's only through trial, punishment, and poverty that God proves Himself near? I've been selling Him so short. I've bought into Satan's lies about Who God is and what He feels towards me.

THAT is true poverty.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

One of the those days...

the great ones...the ones that remind you why you do what you do. I was performing my typical duties as a clinical pharmacist in the small community hospital where I've been on rotation, but things were different today. I spent most of the morning back at Tacoma General doing some education for nursing residents about what pharmacy does, how we can help them, etc. I enjoyed that. You can picture it: large room, ~80 people in the seats, Callie and I presenting/turfing questions. I love it.

This afternoon I went to counsel an elderly woman about starting coumadin, a blood thinner that is prescribed often but can cause serious adverse effects if not taken correctly. And she was concerned. She reminded me a little of my Nanny, and so I immediately empathized. She even started sounding like my Nanny when she began to compliment me on my knowledge and degree. When the conversation turned back to the medication, the look on her face betrayed her dread. So I held her hand and did my best to console her. I left her room knowing I had made a difference.

After that, I got to make 3 different interventions (which translates as I hunted 3 different nurses to address current patient problems that were not currently being treated). I love it. This is that day. I made a difference. I love my job.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I find myself a little melancholic tonight. I should be in bed, but I just bowled myself a nice thumb blister (6 games and we didn't start until 8). My weekends are getting better. I almost dreaded this one because I don't feel like I've met enough people to make enough plans to look forward to the time away from work. I know that sounds sad. I don't get all the way to that point in my thoughts often, but it does happen. But it was surprisingly good. Not too much downtime.

Caught up with some peeps. Prepped Jada for the start of her pharmacy career tomorrow. Did a little bit of research since Dad and Lecia will be here next Saturday. I'm excited to see them and looking for options for tourist plans.

On a heavier note (people don't usually make this transition and preface it with that), it's been a bit bleak emotionally. I was once again given a couple of examples that further proved my current theory about boys not being so bright (not exactly the phrase my girls and I use, but ya know). I wish people would stop providing evidence. I believe it already! Seriously, guys, you don't have to convince me. I understand that many of you are oblivious to your responsibility concerning any girl's heart, but I'm still tired of seeing girls get heart. Regardless of who's to blame. Wake up. Look around. If you're beautiful and a flirt, do you really think SHE thinks y'all are just buddies? Is that what helps you sleep at night? Ugh. Two words for ya: MAN UP!

I'm stepping down off that soapbox now. I still believe there will be one to prove me wrong. And I only need one to prove me wrong. Just one to dissolve the bitterness. Well, one for me and one for each of my girls as well. So maybe a few are needed here.

I've also done more self-evaluation this weekend. I found some not-so-great things. I'll address that later. It feels a little too heavy to drop as an add-on in a post. Maybe it deserves its own space. More to come...

Monday, August 13, 2007

So here's a little bit more of what I'm learning right now. I won't promise that it is directly related to my last post, but it's what I want to talk about today, so there's your explanation. Hope it suffices.

I've been desperate to grow recently, just really wanting God to move me forward, let me see a breakthrough, allow me to feel the ascent to the next plateau. Instead, it seems my desire to proceed has been accompanied by deeper conviction, hightened awareness of my sin, disgust for such sin, and frustration that I seem bound by it. It's dead-on what Paul talk about in Romans 7. Forgive my crude reference, but one of my old roommates used to call it "the do-do verses", where he says he does what he doesn't want to do, and it's really not him that is doing it but the sin that lives in him? Sound familiar? Coming back to you? Well, he nailed it. Seriously, the exact areas of sin that I've been praying for deliverance from are the exact ones that plague me most frequently. And please forgive me for sounding like a victim. That's not Biblical. I just mean that I have not grasped and used the power of Christ in my life in these areas yet. I'm allowing myself to stay bound.

I do believe part of this dilemma can be credited to spiritual warfare. I believe the Father of Lies is just as active and keen as ever, and he should be intimidated at what Christ can do with a life submitted. Part of my prayer is to be more aware of its presence around me and to be equipped for battle.

The second thing just came in an email this morning. Moses Caesar, one of my former pastors and bosses, sends out a weekly email of encouragement on Monday. (You can sign up by emailing him at He spoke about trust and contentment and made the point that they are the same. The areas that you have entrusted to God are the areas in which you will experience contentment. The trusting servant needs nothing. It's very exposing. So the restlessness that waxes and wanes should clue me in that I'm struggling with a trust issue not a void that can be fixed with a gift or blessing. Imagine that, me with a trust issue. lol.

That's all I have for now. I hope it makes you think as it has me.

Monday, August 06, 2007

I've been wanting to post about something with depth for a while. It was not my initial intent for this blog to be an online diary as much as a platform upon which I could share Truth that I was learning, contemplations, and struggles that might encourage another in their journey. Otherwise, I would just jot all this down in a journal somewhere. I must say, I don't have a huge epiphany to relay or some large experience to discuss. I just want to talk a little about something besides facts about my day.

Self perception. That's an enigma to me. It changes all the time. It shouldn't, necessarily, based on who I am in Christ and who He declares me to be. Since He doesn't change, HIs Truth doesn't change, and therefore my image and worth doesn't change. However, MY perception of me does. It seems I learn more about myself all the time. I think it's helpful, but more than that, I think it's a bit self-absorbed. I was talking to a friend in our prayer group on Thursday night who is a single mom. Thinking about herself is most definitely a luxury. Not one she gets to experience often. I have understood that; I figured as soon as I become a wife and a mom, this luxury of introspection would no longer be afforded by me. But I think it should start sooner. I mean, go away sooner.

I have to get ready for work. There will be more on this later.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Daron's visit

We visited the renowned Tacoma Glass museum...

Then we stopped off in Seattle for the afternoon to see the sights and walk around. Pike's Place market, shops, and of course the Cheesecake Factory. Then we headed over to Marymoor Park in Redmond to see the Fray in concert. It was amazing, and the venue was the coolest.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The birthday weekend...

Went out with this great girly...

Then on Sunday, did a little bowling with fun people from church. And I won't mention who happen to win both games...

Right before getting a speeding ticket from a merciless cop in Fircrest. You'd think I would learn. I wasn't flying, just not paying attention through Nazi-ville with a shady 25 mph speed trap outta nowhere. The mayor can thank me for supplying his salary for a day. Ugh.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Maybe the best...

I came home from work yesterday to find out I had received two packages in the mail. I started getting excited because I realized they might have something to do with my big fat 25th birthday today. We're only 5.5 hours in (according to my time zone), and it already may be the best birthday yet. Maybe I should have moved away sooner.

I opened Mom's family package first...which resulted in confetti all over my floor. There were about 5 cards in there, 3 of them singing awesome songs like, "Brick House", "Celebrate", and my fave (from Mom herself) "Whoomp, there it is". Hilarious. They had packed it full of goodies and gift cards. Seriously, I cried.

Then I open a package with big tupperware container full of Lecia's home-made sugar cookies! These are change-your-life cookies, and they have awesome purple icing with different words on them. Money. There was also a cd that I broke down and watched last night that had almost all my extended family on video telling me happy birthday. Most of them pointed out that I was a quarter of a century old, halfway to fifty, etc. Yeah, thanks for that! You're making this whole quarter-life crisis thing way easier. lol.

No, but seriously. I say this all the time, but they keep outdoing themselves: I have the best family and friends ever. I hope in some way God has used and will use my 25 years of life in even a fraction of the way these people have blessed me.

P.S. I'm seriously feeling good about being 25. I feel content. It's a good thing.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

T-2 days from the quarter life crisis...

And I'm doing okay. The time and energy the residency requires is exactly what I need to be distracted from any loneliness or overwhelming feelings of homesickness. I think it actually works to my advantage that there are few distractions or pulls on my time. I'm meeting people, making friends, trying to keep in touch with old ones, and make a life here.

I hope to get some peeps together so that I won't be alone on my b-day. I'm not certain about the plans yet, but there may be a a little country line-dancing involved. We'll see.

Oh, and as a little follow-up to my last small bit of ranting...I had a great talk with a couple of friends, and I just needed renewed hope. God is faithful. I can still live with my belief that boys are not so smart, but only one has to prove me wrong, right? He's out there in the wings. And if you know him, go on and give him a heads up, would ya? Tell him to holler atta player.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Newness and a little of the same old...

I just returned from a camping trip with Discovery Church this weekend. We went over to a place in Eastern Washington and camped out near the Wenatchee (I think) River. It was so peaceful at night to hear the water right behind our tent rushing over the rocks. There were so many families and people of all ages on the trip. My carpool got there late since we had to get off work and get our stuff together before heading out. Lauren (my new friend) and I shared a tent and spent most of the weekend hanging out. She's a nurse so we always have fun conversation topics.

We went rafting with the morning group and had a blast. I've been rafting a ton in many different settings, but this was different. The rapids were surprisingly exciting despite their low class rating. We jumped out voluntarily more than once in order to beat the sweltering dry heat of Eastern Washington...not to mention we stayed drenched since each boat was equipped with their own water gun, so water fights were incessant. Saturday was relaxing. I enjoyed meeting new people and witnessing true community as people took turns watching children, making meals, and cleaning up together.

I didn't realize how much I could enjoy the outdoors in such a raw setting. Normally I'm heading back to a hotel room after witnessing such beauty. But last night I equipped myself with a flashlight, my Bible, and a journal and headed down to the "watering hole" (where you could walk down to the river without weeds and a steep bank). I sat out there by myself, taking it in. It was beautiful, even under just starlight. It was refreshing and comforting to kinda crawl up in God's lap there.

On another note, some things don't change. Boys and girls. Same old, same old. I'm a little disheartened. I wish as a Church, we were better at training people to love each other and establish stable family units. It just seems like there's not enough time to strip people of their life-given scars, rebuild their concept of a Christian home, and then equip them to be part of one in the midst of the practical things like college, jobs, and savings accounts. I would just like to sit all the high school/college kids down and give them a typical Lauren Webb sermonette on who they are in Christ and how to guard themselves and treat other people in dating relationships. Boys...ugh. I can't tell you how many times a week I hear or see or experience a situation where I just wanna yell, "MAN UP!" I'm praying about it. I don't mean to sound so bitter. I'm not. I'm just gonna be praying for renewed hope. And God is faithful.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Sunday's are the hardest...

but they're still not too bad. Saturday was an amazingly fun time of playing games with a group from the church I've been visiting. These kids are great, and I see great friendship potential within the group.

Back to missing people...thankfully soooo many people have made an effort to contact me and see how I'm doing. It's overwhelming and humbling to see all that God has blessed me with in terms of support. THAT'S why I am confident that I could go anywhere and do anything He asked me to. NOT because I'm strong enough or smart enough or tough enough, but because He's overwhelmingly invested beautiful souls in my life.

I spoke with Dad and the fam yesterday, and he once again made mention of how "far" away I really am this time. That actually brought tears. I think this transition has hit my family a little harder than it has me. I have the newness to distract me; they are left with the hole that I filled. Hopefully we'll all just grow in communication skills! lol.

Then today in the mail I received a letter from my sweet friend Leela and my Meemaw. I have received many cards and letters from other friends and family as well. It never fails to lift my heart. The words are so encouraging, and the effort is impressive.

It's times like these that I realize that who I am and what I've done or may do has little to do with me. I'm just living the story God's so creatively written. What a freedom. What a gratitude I should live on. What a blessing you all unceasingly are!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Here's a few more things I encounter in daily life...

Where I live and some views from it...

Where I work

A cute little coffeehouse I like

The park I walk through on the way to work...

Monday, July 02, 2007

Met some peeps...

I like the church I visited yesterday. I plan on visiting a small group they're having on Thursday. I'll keep you posted. I teared up during the music; that's usually a good sign. Met a nice girl about my age with my name, and I look forward to getting to know more people there.

While training with one of the technicians today, I got to interact with a large range of inter-pharmacy personnel. It was a blast. I look forward to interacting and cutting up with them over the course of this year.

AND...last but not least, I found a group that plays ultimate frisbee online, and I went and played tonight! It was a lot of fun despite the fact that I was the worst player on the field. I'm not even supremely horrible; these kids are just studs with the disc. I'm looking forward to learning more strategy and gaining more skill. The people were really nice and encouraging. Yay, fun and good exercise AND the opportunity to meet more people. It doesn't get any better.

I took Lecia's request to heart and started snapping pics of my daily environment. I'll try to post them this week sometime. Thank you all for taking the time to read. It keeps me from feeling lonely.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

One Week Down...

Many more to go. But surviving my first week at a real job is significant, especially when you add being across the country from all friends and fam and everything familiar. I just point out the weight of it to express the depth of peace and contentment God has been so faithful to provide, AND how awesome my friends and family have been at calling to check on me. That has meant so much. Just knowing that someone remembers where I am and wonders how I'm doing is encouraging.

James and Callie are the other two residents I'm working with, and they are great. We've already had good times in training and during lunch together this week. They are both smart and friendly, and I very much look forward to what this year will bring.

I still haven't found a church here yet. It's hard when you only get to check one out about once a week. But I've done a little research online, so I hope I know a little bit more of what to expect tomorrow. We'll see. Thanks for reading and commenting. It comforts me as well!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tacoma Town

I still like it. It's been a long, fun week of unpacking, buying, assembling, and touring with Donna and Leela and then my mom and Lee. My parents are troopers. I had no doubt with them, though. Lee's a get-'er-done type for sure. Way helpful. The sad thing was, they didn't get to see Rainier. It was too cloudy. Donna, Leela, and I were fortunate enough to see it in its grandeur on Wednesday.

The people here are very different. And I love that. I'm looking forward to the way this culture and adaptive process will broaden my mind and soften my heart. I visited a church this morning, and I was surprised to find that a woman was shepherding the church. So the search continues...

So far I'm fine on homesickness. Last night was my worst. Lee and mom were still here, and my anticipation of their departure made me a bit weepy yesterday. I think I hid it well. After my text request for prayer from some close friends, today involved just a few tears in both mine and my mother's eyes.

Orientation starts tomorrow. This will be my first night in my new bed.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Here and lovin' it

Hey guys, we made it to Tacoma in amazing time. The last day of driving we only stopped when we needed gas. Donna's a champ at some driving. We got to see Mt. Rushmore, this huge beautiful gorge housing the Columbia River, and the beautiful scenery located in Montana, Idaho, and Eastern Washington (which looks a little like West TN if you didn't know).

Driving is absolutely the worst in Washington state as opposed to the other 9 that we drove through. I got a little more than perturbed at a little black Acura that Donna ended up taking a picture of.

Here are some of our best quotes so far (don't expect to understand, just know we belly-laughed):

"Let's paint by number; let's get him" - Leela

"Lauren, it's not a power cat!" - Leela

"One of these days when we stop, I may just take off running" - you guessed it, Leela

"What's the capitol of Washington state? Spoanoak" - Donna

"There was a doe right there!" - Lauren

Apartment's cute. Simple. Small. Very good for a little starter-apt for the single white female. Now for the drama of trying to furnish that beast. I think the small space will make it a little easier.

I love my little Tacoma.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

On the road again...

We're on Day 2 of Mission: Move Lauren to Tacoma, and it's been a wild ride already. After days of packing boxes, climbing up and down the flights of stairs to old M-9, and millions of dollars in shipping, Donna, Leela, and I headed out yesterday morning from Nashville at around 6:30. Making only 4 stops, we made it all the way to Omaha, NE by 5:40. Don't ask me how fast I went on the last little stretch.

We drove straight to John Rosenblatt Stadium to meet up with Casey, his friend Anna (who's kinda been my friend via modern technology), Anna's friend Ranae (who graciously let us crash at her place), Bredow, and his crew (two friends, two sisters, and one of their friends). It was sweltering but once the sun went down, we enjoyed watching UNC beat Mississippi State, except that we were for the losing team. We all went to eat downtown afterwards in the cute little area Omaha calls the Old Market area.

After a good meal and goodbye's, we crashed at Ranae's for the night only to be rudely awakened at 5:30 (typical- we were getting up at 6) by a screeching, blaring FIRE ALARM. Yep, we all arranged our things and headed out the door. No biggie, evidently this had happened twice on Thursday. Here's one for you: Management, get it replaced! lol. Oh well, great story.

We're not sure where we're stopping today, but we're going to try to get as far as we can. As always, I'll keep you posted.

Monday, June 11, 2007

People are wrong about me. Not the ones that know me well. The acquaintances. The ones that only know me in one specific role, in one setting. I, like most people, have many parts, many interests, and many goals.

Two of my most important goals are to be a wife and a mom. I believe that God will allow me the opportunity to be one or both of these at some point. For a long time I've assumed that it wasn't God's timing, it didn't make sense with school and other time commitments, etc. I think all of these are still valid, but another major reason was brought to my attention by one of my great friends tonight.

I didn't realize how I was perceived just based on my degree, my future career, and the intensity of parts of my personality. I have a history of leadership, a drive to succeed, and a comfort doing things by myself. HOWEVER, there's a part of me that desired to be LED. I want to come home to a household where I serve a supporting role. I want to be someone's biggest cheerleader. Believe it or not, I'm equipped for that. Way down deep, the potential is there.

But it doesn't have to be seen now or by all...ever. God will show it to at least one. And when he sees enough he deems pursuable, then I won't have to type any more blogs of frustration such as this one.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

1 down, 1 to go!

By prayers of those who love me, I passed the MPJE, which is the law exam for pharmacy licensure. I take the NAPLEX tomorrow, which is the pharmacy board exam. Obviously, the prayers worked. Let's keep those going up.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Outdoor Adventures

I realize as I begin this post that my titles are weak. There's no pull, no intrigue, just boring and generic. I am sorry. I got nothing.

Lake Tahoe is beautiful. We drove all the way around it yesterday, stopping at overlooks, Emerald Bay, and random shopping areas. During our Emerald Bay stop, we hiked down the 1-mile hill to see the Vikingsholm castle and experienced about 5 different weather patterns within an hour. I'm not joking. It started out just cold and windy. Then the snow came...and turned into tiny hail stones. Then the sun had its turn before a dang blizzard hit us full force. It cycled back through all of these multiple times yesterday afternoon. We were astounded.

Today we went whitewater rafting, and it was amazing. We had a bombin' guide named Josh who just graduated from UTC! His dad is an independent pharmacist in Arkansas. Random connections. He was seriously the best guide, and he should be- the kid kayaks semi-professionally all over North and South America! Needless to say, we had a blast. Water was freezing, but today's weather permitted short-sleeves and shorts. And I thought Tennessee weather was inconsistent!

I love seeing the outdoors like this: the mountains, the streams, the trees. It's amazing. I can never get enough. All the scenes end up looking similar in my head (from Montana, Alaska, etc.), but they still quiet me in awe. I find myself wanting to be immersed in them for a short time. I really would like to do some 3-day river trip or so at some point involving canoeing/kayaking/camping/etc. And something about the outdoors makes me want to experience it with someone else. Don't get me wrong, I love the fam, but I look forward to taking trips with maybe a husband someday. The scenery for some reason seems romantic to me. And now that I've confirmed that I'm a huge dork, I'll stop now.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tahoe Expedition

This day started out odd...and way early, I might add. Dad, Lecia, Daron, Kellen, and I arrived at the Nashville airport this morning to find out that our flight from DFW to Reno had been cancelled. The nice, but slow-paced and talkative, gate agent re-routed us with the best option which included a 5-hour layover in LA at LAX. Normally, I'm the ill and impatient one, but I've finally stopped expecting airlines to follow through with what they get paid to deliver, so I was fine with the change.

In fact, when we arrived at our first layover in St. Louis, I called (and woke due to the 2-hr time difference) my friend Will out in LA to see if he was available to meet us. We arrived in LA, cheated death in a cab ride to the 3rd St. Promenade, and ate with Will in the food court. Oh, and the only famous person we saw was Anthony Anderson, who rode first class on our St. Louis to LAX flight.

After lunch we headed down to the Santa Monica pier. It was nice even though the sky wasn't clear. I was glad the fam got to experience such a frequently-filmed locale in person. Will was nice and brave enough to load us all into his Maxima and give us a ride back to the airport.

We arrived in Reno after a flight that made me question airplane safety (I seriously thought at two different times that we were going to be thrust into a deadly tail-spin, and upon landing, the right wheels and left wheels did not touch down simultaneously), picked up the rental, ate supper, then headed over the mountain to Tahoe, where our resort is located. We were rudely surprised with heavy snow/sleet/rain all the way over the mountain. I was honestly scared. Who knew we would experience 28-degree weather in June? I prayed hard, and we made it as I type to you from the business center.

I'm having a blast with the fam, and I'm expecting a great vacation.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I can almost write to you as Dr. Lauren Webb, and that's exciting and a little scary. What a journey these last four years have been. I think it finally hit me today as I was talking to my dad on the phone. There's so many decisions, preparations, and plans to be made, but I'll be making them all as a new graduate of a professional program. I'm pumped and a little bit liberated. But with all new freedom comes greater responsibility.

I just think of the freedom we are bought with Christ's blood. We are free from the law, but not to ignore it. We have been equipped (as with a degree) with the Holy Spirit in order to make the right choices that protect that freedom, but ultimately we choose how to wield it.

Do I sound like a wise adult yet?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

From the spiritual side of the originators of Alcoholics Anonymous,

I Stand at the Door

By Sam Shoemaker (from the Oxford Group)

I stand by the door.
I neither go to far in, nor stay to far out.
The door is the most important door in the world -
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There is no use my going way inside and staying there,
When so many are still outside and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where the door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men,
With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it.
So I stand by the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world
Is for men to find that door - the door to God.
The most important thing that any man can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands
And put it on the latch - the latch that only clicks
And opens to the man's own touch.

Men die outside the door, as starving beggars die
On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter.
Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live on the other side of it - live because they have not found it.

Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
And open it, and walk in, and find Him.
So I stand by the door.

Go in great saints; go all the way in -
Go way down into the cavernous cellars,
And way up into the spacious attics.
It is a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest of hidden casements,
Of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.
Some must inhabit those inner rooms
And know the depths and heights of God,
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.
Sometimes I take a deeper look in.
Sometimes venture in a little farther,
But my place seems closer to the opening.
So I stand by the door.

There is another reason why I stand there.
Some people get part way in and become afraid
Lest God and the zeal of His house devour them;
For God is so very great and asks all of us.
And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia
And want to get out. 'Let me out!' they cry.
And the people way inside only terrify them more.
Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled.
For the old life, they have seen too much:
One taste of God and nothing but God will do any more.
Somebody must be watching for the frightened
Who seek to sneak out just where they came in,
To tell them how much better it is inside.
The people too far in do not see how near these are
To leaving - preoccupied with the wonder of it all.
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door
But would like to run away. So for them too,
I stand by the door.

I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was
Before they got in. Then they would be able to help
The people who have not yet even found the door.
Or the people who want to run away again from God.
You can go in too deeply and stay in too long
And forget the people outside the door.
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him and know He is there,
But not so far from men as not to hear them,
And remember they are there too.

Where? Outside the door -
Thousands of them. Millions of them.
But - more important for me -
One of them, two of them, ten of them.
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.
So I shall stand by the door and wait
For those who seek it.

'I had rather be a door-keeper
So I stand by the door.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

As He always does, God has been working out and working on each of my stressors about this big move. Monday night I heard a great message from an old friend and mentor Moses Caesar about worry. He gave us practical steps that enable us to give things to the Lord, trust Him with our future, and live fully in the present...not letting Satan rob us of the peace Christ died to afford us.

And sure enough, the next day I was able to register for both my major exams (law and board exam) to become a pharmacist on days when I'll be in town (which aren't many in June). I've been packaing stuff up, throwing stuff out, and slowly but surely getting organized for this trek. I'm still very excited. The woman called yesterday to inform me that I officially had an apartment waiting on me when I get up there.

As for the road trip, Donna and Leela, two of my closest friends and fellow pharmacy students, have been gracious enough to volunteer to make the trek cross-country with me. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that will be 35 hours in a car. We're excited about our adventure.

HOWEVER, I would like some audience participation: Give me some ideas for what we should do in the car.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Today I was constantly reminded of how lacking my faith is. My stomach has been in a jumble all day regarding my current life transition. I have a personal relationship through Jesus Christ with the Sovereign God of the universe, and I'm stressed about getting licensed as a pharmacist and moving to Washington state. Seriously. But that's the sad truth. That IS the case.

It is baffling to me how accessible the words are when I need to engage in discussion about theological or doctrinal Truth, but when I am given the opportunity to trust and obey with MY LIFE, I'm a baby. I often refer back to the Jill Phillips lyric about getting it "down to my heart from my head". What a chasm.

So, here I sit, acting my age. Pretending that at the quarter-century mark (which I will reach in July), I am equipped to carry a "Dr." in front of my name, a regular paycheck, and a life of my own across the continent from my friends and family. God is ever showing me His faithfulness...even today He brought tears. At the end of the day, I know. He IS who He says He is, and He WILL do what He says He will do. (Thank you, Beth Moore.)

In conclusion, amidst the stress about money management, moving and storing furniture, my unseen apartment, the trek out there, the new job, the church search, licensing and law exams, and everything else that comes with being an "adult", I look forward to writing to you about the specific ways that God reveals Himself during this vulnerable time. Maybe that's why I love change so much. We can never get to the end of Who God is, but with every new experience, we get to see a little more. That basis alone is enough to make my future limitless.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Memories or Vanity?

I'm triaging books and journals and papers to decide which things will making the trek to Tacoma, which will be stored at my parents' for future reference, and which will be completely discarded, never to be heard from again. Some of the books have been difficult to place. I have trouble letting go of things I had once assigned value to. I'm trying to be as minimalistic as possible.

Then I came across tons of old journals. And I was faced with a dilemma: do I keep these? Why would I? Am I ever going to want to know what they said? Does it matter now? Will someone else want to know? Would my children be interested? I know when I found some old journals of my mom's, I was completely intrigued by the stories inside. It was entertaining to me. And people write biographies and memoirs from such things. But assuming that I would be biograph-able is vain. Assuming that someone is going to want to know what happened during my college years, my high school years, and those thereafter is a bit pompous, I feel.

The only validating conclusion I have reached regarding their preservation would be the possibility of someone reading about my life and seeing how God used the weak, the poor, the foolish thing (me) of this world to accomplish His purposes, to show His power and what HE alone can do in a life. I don't think my life exemplifies that at this point, but I'm trusting in this process of sanctification. That would make it worth it. Otherwise, they will just take up space and produce clutter.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

So I've officially become the blogger I said I'd never be: the one that goes weeks without a post, leaving their faithful readers high and dry and bored and maybe even resistent to frequent the blog in the future. But honestly, life's just been a blur of finishing rotation, working part-time at CVS, and trying to soak up Nashvegas before I head on over the Pacific Northwest.

Tonight, however, was exceptional. One of my resolutions, if you will, before I leave this land of music and honey was to see as many concerts in my final days as possible. And tonight, one of my favorite singer/songwriters was giving a benefit concert at the Nashville Rescue Mission. I went with one of my faithful concert friends, actually a friend of Payten's that she lets me borrow due to our shared love of music. Another one of their Belmont friends joined us as well.

Tyler James is so fun to watch. I love seeing live music, but I sometimes get bored at shows. But these guys were having so much fun, and he's a refreshing artist in that he does music because it's natural to him, not to be seen or celebrated or validated. He's rare.

Then they had some of the missions' graduates tell their story, and I wiped away tears. It was so sobering to hear their life stories and how they had been changed by a relationship with Christ. One of the stories came from a guy that grew up like most of my close friends...middle class white America, went to college on a baseball scholarship, got good jobs and screwed them up because of addiction to drugs and alcohol. Ended up homeless in Nashville. Now he works at the shelter.

It really helped me put things in perspective. These people looked in the face of death and chose life...and Life abundant. I don't know if I've ever come to a crossroads of that depth. It reminded me that I have so much to be thankful for...and so much responsibility to use what I've been given for the furthering of the Kingdom.

Totally worth the admission

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

No one thing...

have I come up with that satisfies my need for a good blog topic. I've run across a few ideas in my head and situations in my life that appeared blog-worthy, but none stand out. So guess what? You get the treat of me running briefly through whatever has stuck and currently sits in my mind right now. Enjoy.

This past weekend I went to my friend Ben's wedding down in Texas. This was an interesting situation for a few reasons. The first one being these kids have known each other a total of 7 months. I know what you're thinking. I don't think we have to worry. I honestly believe they will be fine and are perfectly suited for each other. But it was odd to be there in support of the union when I didn't know the girl at all. I felt a bit detached. Second, it was just neat to sit back and take in the state of everyone's life now compared to where we were when we left each other back at Union. It has been a beautiful blessing to watch God write the stories of my friends' lives. He truly is a loving, faithful, and creative God. I cannot imagine having the symphony of my life composed, orchestrated, and conducted any other way than submitted to His Lordship. What a privilege to know Him and His love for me through the redemption He offered me and the purpose He created me with. Wow.

Today was Tuesday. And for some reason, after my rotation and running a few errands and while on the road, I became sensitized to the overwhelming sense of contentment that had been keeping me company throughout the day. I don't really know where it came from or what it was secondary to. I only know that it only comes from God. And for that, I was grateful to Him. I give Him all the glory. Isn't that what Piper talks about? Him being glorified and us being satisfied and the converse being true as well? I can only say I emphatically agree and am blessed to see it manifested.

Thursday night I start a small group Bible study for a group of ladies around my age. We're going through James, and it's going to be a quick one. Only 4 weeks. But I'm excited and humbled by the opportunity. I love to get into the Word with others. I pray God will illuminate His Word and captivate our hearts with His Truth. I believe He will for His purposes. Please pray for them and for me. I'll keep you posted...ha, posted.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Here's a thought...

And it's not a new one, but one that's been frequent here recently in my own life. It is that insecurity is another form of self-absorption. Whether the attention is positive or negative, it's still attention...with the focus being yourself. Geesh, that stings a little. It's amazing how just following the first and second most important thing God tells us to do will keep us from such pettiness. Loving Him and loving others usually requires a degree of focusing on those objects of our affection. Working to make that a natural occurrence will probably give us a selflessness as a side effect. Yes, I graduate in a month and until I pass my board exams, we will speak of everything in reference to drugs.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


After much prayer and stress...actually, it was probably stress then prayer, Jada got the call this afternoon that she has been accepted into UT pharmacy school this coming fall. We're sooooo excited; this is a huge blessing. It will be a fun, challenging, but much-needed new start for her.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I thought I would share some Truth that Brother Mike shared with us last night at Kairos...

Jesus said in John 14:6 that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. So if you look at it in terms of if/then statements, some interesting concepts arise. Let me expound.

If Jesus is THE WAY, then all who are without Him are LOST. In other words, there is no path worth taking that He isn't leading.

If Jesus is the THE TRUTH, then things that contradict His Word are LIES. That one goes further. In John 8:32, it says the Truth will set us free. If we're not getting the TRUTH from Jesus, not only are we believing and building our lives on LIES, but we are ENSLAVED by them. The BONDAGE that results from sin is highly overlooked. If we were aware of it and chose to be freed by the Truth of Christ, how much different would our lives look?

And lastly, if Jesus is the LIFE, then apart from Him, we are DEAD. So much Scripture backs that up, but we still seem to think we can get better for ourselves without submitting to His Lordship in our lives.

Just some interesting items that were illuminated for me last night.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Went to the Chapel...

And Britt got married!

Man, I had the BEST weekend in Dallas. I flew in on Wednesday night, hung out with Britt and Caleb, and stayed at their new apartment with Britt. The next day Britt and I went to "get our toes did", I got to hold and console a random baby (which I loved and was surprised that this woman was willing to let me help), and then we bought some fun eyeshadow. That night we went to Elizabeth's (Britt's roommate) for her lingerie shower. We had the best time! It was so fun, and her group of friends totally meshed. By the end of the weekend, I loved those girls and was sad that I wouldn't get to hang out with them on a regular basis. Later that night, about 7 of us stayed at a hotel and continued the "prep Britt for marriage" party. It was fun. I'll stop there.

Friday- rehearsal, met Caleb's boys, ran a few errands, then had the dinner at this bombin' barbecue place. We all got up and said nice things about the couple, trying to hold back tears. It was great. Both Britt's and Caleb's fams are great. Later that night we went to the beastly bridal suite at the nearby hotel and had a little dance party. I had, of course, come equipped with my iPod and speakers. Natty-tat showed out as usual, the best ghetto dancer I know. We even got the wedding moms involved. Britt's parents are Mike and Donna Morris, and Caleb's parents are Mike and Donna Martin. It's crazy. They go to church together, and they pretty much set the two up from the beginning. God is good. You knew that; I just thought I'd give you another example.

Saturday was fun. It was a blur of hanging out, getting ready, hair, makeup, dresses. I got to do two of the other maids' eye makeup and ended being the designated bow-tier for the sashes. I was glad to help and surprised I was chosen for the Martha Stewart-type function. My girl Meg spent about 30 minutes with a curling iron trying to make me pretty. She was a trooper.

The wedding was so much fun! Britt was completely calm as she sat there, looking like she walked off a page of a bridal magazine. Seriously, this girl was stunning. Truly Audrey Hepburn classy. We got through the ceremony and even did a little dancing on the way out of the chapel. Then at the reception, we did a LOT of dancing because the band was phenomenal.

Today, we went to Prestonwood Baptist (beast of a church) to visit Phil, the youth minister that I served under back at Germantown Baptist. He came to lunch with us, and it was a good visit.

The old FAB Four had fun, and because Matt and Brad (Meg's and Nat's husbands respectively) spent so much time with Caleb, I think we've officially started the FAB Four husband's club. We're just one short, and it will stay that way for a while. lol. It was almost therapeutic to see the old Memphis crew. We definitely made a name for ourselves as "those crazy Memphis girls". lol. We had to represent, what can we say?

Overall, I LOVED all Britt's friends. It was obvious that each girl played a specific role in her life. It was neat seeing the aspects that each person brought to the table. The coolest part of it all is seeing God's work over the years of Britt's life and what He did with each person at different parts. Britt's life is truly a testimony of His faithfulness, His perseverance in pursuing us, and the way He answers prayers. I saw God change her. I got to walk with her through that time. This weekend, I met the people who prayed that into reality. And it was a blessing to stand with them in support of Britt and Caleb as they started their life together.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Here comes the bride...

Don't worry. You haven't missed anything. I'm talking about Britt. I'm flying to Dallas tomorrow to be by her side during her second biggest life-altering experience (the first being salvation, of course) as her Maid of Honor. I feel just that-honored. I'm so excited about the shower I'm helping the Texas girls throw for her Thursday night. It should be great times and create fun memories.

Also, I'm encouraged by the prospect of good ole' TN boy Fred Thompson running for president. I don't think he's formally announced it yet, but he's thinking about it. And I'm all for it based on what I know right now. All of the current options from both parties make me really nervous. Although I feel that the Republican party has quite a mess to get out from behind with Bush's reign and that may rule them out from winning the White House just out of spite from the public, Fred gives me hope. He's the most qualified guy showing up so far. We'll see how things go. He's got a website. Google him. Sign the petition. Let a homie know he needs to show up for us.

Friday, March 30, 2007

So Much

that I have been meaning to blog about: stories, concerns, joys, pains. Now I feel like if I write it all, it'll end up being so long that no one will even care to read it. I probably wouldn't if I were you. Instead, I'll give tidbits. I'll hit the gist, leave it a bit vague, and then we can actually converse about things if you'd like to know more...this is assuming we know each other, of course.

Topic 1: If you read below (my earlier post from today), you can see that my beloved alma mater has joined the ranks of every other private educational institution in the state in believing it, too, needs a pharmacy school to serve the needs of our state. I believe they have heeded incorrect information, and beyond my feelings of anger and concern, it can be safely said that this is a bad idea for all parties involved. More of the reasons to come.

Topic 2: I am very sad to see my month at TPA come to an end. It culminated in an opportunity to sit on the Floor of the House during session yesterday with Representative (and pharmacist) Dr. David Shepard of Dickson. He's great, and I have immensely enjoyed working with him on issues this month. Pharmacists in our state are blessed to have him in the Legislature. During my Floor experience yesterday and throughout the month, I was also able to meet and cut up with other members of the General Assembly from various parts of the state. Just the networking has been amazing. And if you know me and know how I LOVE to meet people, you understand how well this fit me. Above all of these things, the ladies in the TPA office are such a great group of people. They gave me a card today to say goodbye and filled it with encouraging words to send me on my way.

Topic 3: Maybe the best topic would be certain growth that I've experienced recently. I have been praying that God would let me get a hold of my true identity in Him and stop battling certain insecurities that I allow Satan to beat me down with frequently. Most of them revolve around my perception of what a godly woman looks like (she's usually petite, sweet, quiet but strong, and outwardly compassionate). She has that shyness that guys see as mystery and come after her in search of the treasure they're sure they're going to be the first one to find. Then there's me: loud, animated, opinionated, boisterous, and outspoken- especially when it comes to matters of the Word and Biblical Truth. Most of the time I embrace these things, but like I said, sometimes I allow Satan to win. Well, this week, God answered my prayer in a couple of ways.

  1. This kid I barely know from church shares some encouraging words based his limited observation of me. He even saw me in a game of Catchphrase, which can be translated as my loudest, most obnoxious, competitive, sassy form. But he seemed genuinely signed on to the Lauren Webb fanclub, and I was deeply encouraged.
  2. An even bigger part would be Thursday night when I went through the PLACE class at Brentwood Baptist Church. It is a required class for new members, and it evaluates your personality, spiritual gifts, abilities, passions, and experiences in order to show you where you fit in Kingdom work. It is one of the most revealing and enlightening programs I've ever been through. It help me make sense of me. I learned how my being passionate, driven, persuasive, analytical, and intense could help me and hurt me in various settings. It explained so much. I think everyone should have to go through this. It could help you find a more fitting job, become more comfortable and in-tune with yourself, and ultimately free you to be all of you for God's glory. The instructor quoted St. Ireneaus, "the glory of God is man fully alive". I meet with a connection coach this Sunday night to interpret more about my results.

Thanks for reading. I tried, but I'm just too wordy. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I challenge you to think about how alive you would say you are. How much of who God created you to be do you use daily and further- specifically for His glory?

Here's one for ya:

I'm mad and sad and I'll write more when I've calmed down.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I don't think I've told you...

Reema's home. She's back in the 'Natti trying to nurse her shoulder back to health. She hasn't set definite plans for after that. Please pray for her as she adjusts to the U.S. culture after being away from it for two years. She talked like she had been in a time warp. We set her up a myspace page, so we're slowly bringing her up to speed. I'm thankful she's back and excited to see what God will continue to do in and through her.