"You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already
know.You'll get mixed up with many strange birds
as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with
care and great tact and remember that life's a
great balancing act. Just never forget to be
dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right
foot with your left. And will you succeed? Yes!
You will, indeed! 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.
Kid, you'll move mountains." - Dr. Suess

Monday, March 18, 2013

Jeff Gordon as God

I used to blog. Where the L have I been?

As I am learning to become a counselor, and as I am getting older, and as I am a girl, it seems the concept of people not being where they expected or wanted to be in life is a more common conversation than it used to be. I am sure a lot of you have seen the recent Pepsi commercial with Jeff Gordon test driving a car. I don’t watch a ton of television, so when I see something I like on there, I think about it a lot. Well, this commercial is one that has stuck in my mind. Whether it was staged or not, it spoke to me on a deeper level. I hope maybe it will make you think and/or smile.  If you haven’t seen it, here it is.


I am the car salesman. Going about my everyday life, trying to sell that I have everything under control. Not only do I try to sell this to others, but mostly to myself. “Look at how shiny this is.” “Look at how comfortable this is.” “Oh check out this accessory. “ “Look at what I this can do.” Blah blah blah…  

Then enters Jeff Gordon, for the purpose of this blog, we will refer to him as God. A customer (God) appears in my world and I, not realizing who he is, happily jump into explaining things to him and telling him about how things work. God politely nods his head and listens, but is thinking, “You’re comical.”

As I unknowingly hand God the keys to test-drive one of my products, I am still walking him step by step through what I expect from him. I believe he will listen because, well… I am the expert here! Right?

Wrong. God turns on the engine and shows me a test drive like no other I have seen. This is not normal! This is not planned and you are not obeying my rules! I am shocked, scared, mad, uncomfortable, and fight it. Why won’t he listen to me? I think I am about to throw up. He doesn’t know what he is doing! Who does this average looking guy think he is?  If he messes this up he is p(r)aying for it. Get me out of this car! Seriously, stop you are going to kill us both.

Once God whips me back in my spot, I rush to go tell on him, thinking I can fix this crazy moment. It’s at that moment, he reveals who he is and I realize how small I am. It’s at that moment I realize that it was when I was not in control that I had the best ride of my life.

Control gives us safety. It lets us know what to expect and it makes us feel like we are doing pretty well with ourselves. BUT, it also puts us in the role of God. Like Jeff Gordon, God has a much better track record than I do. I believe there is much more beauty in trusting God to take the keys than telling him how to drive. It doesn’t always seem safe because He mostly, maybe always, is pretty well disguised. As I am going on and on about how things should be, He humbly says, “Hey, can I try that?” Although the ride may be crazy and your job isn’t what you expected, or your kids aren’t who you meant to raise, or your relationships change, or college isn't as great as you expected, or nobody seems to understand you, or you have to move to another part of town (or another continent), or plans fall through, or you aren’t where you thought you would be at this point in your life, or etc. etc. etc…  you, like the salesman, may get to the end of it, laugh and say to God “Want to do it again?” Because I believe it is in the crazy rides, when you are not sure what is next, that you learn the best lessons and are shaped into who you are meant to be. Jeff Gordon knows how to drive a car and God knows how to align a life. 

(Cue: Jesus take the wheel)

I’m not the best candidate for driving my life.

What the L? 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Sweet Life

As some of you may or may not know, I, along with a couple others (hey Rudy and Mary!), gave up sweets for the year of 2011. Here November is, and we are all still going strong! Has it been hard? Not horribly. Has it been annoying? A little. Did I think I would make it this long? Not really. So, it’s possible? YEAH!  This post isn’t to make me look cool because I haven’t had a cookie in a while... because it really wasn’t that hard after a month or so. And it’s not to encourage you to cut out desserts completely… cause, like, eat what you want! But it is to say that thinking of alternatives is kind of fun!

Red velvet cake with friends is too good. Ice cream is always fun. Candy is tasty and convenient. Cheesecake is from Heaven. Warm gooey cookies, nothing compares. Smore’s, a common comfort food. Puppy chow, there is nothing better. Funfetti icing, oh my gosh!

Typing that previous paragraph has been the hardest part of the year so far.  However, I am here to share with you all an alternate paragraph that serves just as valid of a point.

Walking with friends is too good. Smoothies are always fun. Coffee is tasty and convenient. Peanut butter is from Heaven. Watermelon, nothing compares. Sweet potatoes, a common comfort food. Bananas + strawberries + honey, there is nothing better. Not even missing dessert, oh my gosh!

Saying no to frozen yogurt was tough at first
I have always had the mindset that sweets were somewhat of a necessity for social settings. This year though, I have learned that is not true at all. Sometimes when my friends and I would get bored, we would just bake random creations… which is fun!.. but there are other alternatives too..  Going walking with friends is wonderful quality time. The good old fashioned coffee date is quality time too.  Honey, even though some may argue is a sweet, is a delicious fix for when you are just kind of wanting something sweet. Desserts are great and fun, but I have learned that they need to be more of a special occasion kind of thing instead of a fall back past time for me. 

The Easter Bunny was so cooperative.
I cant wait to eat some puppy chow on January 1st. I feel rude when I am over at someone’s house and don’t eat a treat they made. The upcoming holidays will be testing at times. BUT there is always an alternative. Instead of strawberry cupcakes, just eat strawberries. Or instead of peanut butter cookies, just eat peanut butter! (refer to my peanut butter and jelly post if you want to talk about peanut butter more)

No chocolate pie for Thanksgiving?...

-What the L

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What's Next?

On Friday the 13th, 2011 I proudly walked across the Thompson Bowling Arena stage while holding my new diploma! After I crossed the stage, this lady told me to smile. So I smiled and they took a picture. Then she told me to go back and sit in my seat. So that is what I did. I graduated! After the ceremony, my mom told me to eat lunch. So I ate. After lunch though, my family dropped me off at my house. After they left I walked into my house and there was nobody there to tell me what to do next. No teachers telling me to write a paper. No coaches telling me to practice anything. No pastors telling me sign up for church camp. No siblings telling me to play. No guidance counselor or advisor telling me what to apply to next. And there were certainly no companies telling me come work for them. It was just me. Allison, Laine, and Lindsey all went to my room and just kinda sat together for a few minutes pondering "what's next?"

During that moment I realized that my ENTIIIIIRE life has consisted of me just working towards what the next thing is supposed to be. American culture and people who are important in my life are the ones who always told me what is next and I just always kind of did it. But now, it's like, I get to decide what is next. That was really intimidating for about a week or so but now I am more excited about it...

SOOoOoOoo.. What is next??? I don't know. But here are some places that you might see me in the near or far future...

I might possibly ..........

Open up a nursing home with the hopes of redefining the later years of life. There will be paintball courses, dogs, facepainting, and virtual rollercoasters. I am kind of joking but kind of not...

Go to the moon! This was much more likely and much more seriously thought out until NASA came to a hault. However, if the opportunity presents itself, I am easily in. Ahhhh.. I get chills just thinking about it! I mean, think about it. Think about seeing the entire earth in one eyesight...
look how it just floats in space. that is a heavy ball to just float there

Open up a grocery store. If you are nice to me then I will give you a job or a discount on grapes. If you are interested in investing then please feel free to call me...

Start breeding dogs.. No I probably won't do that...

Go to massage school??! I just thought of that one...

Come up with a new sport. It would be a mixture of tennis and soccer...

Start a cooking therapy company for children. You hear about art therapy and horseback riding therapy. Baking therapy would be awesome! Explaining to kids that different parts of life make up the big picture would go along great with explaining that different parts of a recipe make up a muffin! yummay ...

Leave America for a while. 3 months in the Philippines still affects me almost daily. What if i spent even more time somewhere that could somehow use my help??? hmhmhmMM ...

Go to graduate school to get my masters in psychological counseling. Get married at age 25 to a guy who is my best friend and is really strong. Have a dog and a goldfish and a hammock and a big front yard. Grill out with my family and throw frisbee with Maxwell (the dog) every night. Get my PhD. Solve world hunger. Retire at age 50 and celebrate by exploring the pyramids with my husband who I still fall in love with more each day... That could happen.. right??!

So what happens next? Who knows?? Not me! Time will only tell..

-What the L

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly

     One of the very first memories I have of my life is of me stomping on my peanut butter and jelly sandwich by the merry-go-round. I was so mad that my mom gave me a dirty sandwich. Looking back I realize that she actually gave me a sandwich with wheat bread as opposed to white bread like everyone else. I'ma I'ma diva. I regret this thought process because it definitely affected me for a long time. For many years after that I avoided peanut butter and jelly sandwiches... which is a very very sad thing.

     I have eaten PB&J since Mother's Day Out but they just weren't anything special. This all changed a few weeks ago. A few friends and I went on a little road trip to visit our Nation's Capitol. I wanted to be cheap so I bought a loaf of bread, a jar of jelly, and peanut butter, in hopes that I could just eat off of that for the weekend. Something magical happened that Saturday afternoon, something beautiful. As I sat outside outside the Capitol, where tons of historically monumental things have happened, something monumental happened in my life. I took a bite of the best thing I have ever taken a bite of. This peanut butter and jelly sandwich changed my life.. for the better. Since that moment I have been thinking about, praying about, dreaming about, talking about, writing about, raving about and singing about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I look for any and every opportunity to enjoy them. I hope this post gives you ideas about how to incorporate more peanut butter and jelly in your life.

Pb&J give energy
If you like to stay active, enjoy a nice PB&J an hour or so before you go run, dance, play, do yoga, shoot, swim, box, jump, throw, lift, etc. The bread gives you fiber and starch which gives you energy. The jelly gives you sugar which keeps you awake and happy. The peanuts give you protein which help you maximize your activity. Don't quote me on any of those facts.

Pb&J can communicate.
Ever grow tired of calling, emailing, texting, mailing, talking, voice-mailing, ichatting, skyping and however else you may communicate? Talk to your friends via peanut butter and jelly. Bread is moldable and flexible. Make someone a sandwich and don't just go with the average square shape. Get creative and start sculpting that bread. If your friend is earthy, sculpt a tree. If you friend is musical, sculpt a music note. If your friend is depressed, sculpt a tear. If your friend is smart, sculpt an A. Or you can sculpt letters to make words to make sentences for your friends that are really hungry. 

     PB&J can be smart. 
It's really easy to pack a couple of PB&Js in your backpack. This can be very beneficial to your academic success. Pack several of them and stay in the library. This makes for fewer food breaks and enables an optimal amount of study time. More PB&J = more points towards your GPA.

     Pb&J can be romantic
Once a nice young gentleman told me to get dressed up because we had a special dinner to go to. I was thinking we would go downtown somewhere. We ended up having a candle-light peanut putter and jelly sandwich on the local football field and it was the sweetest sandwich I have ever eaten...Turn PB&Js into dates! If the two of you can talk for a long time then you also get to eat more peanut butter and jelly which is even more perfect. 

PB&J can party 
Wanna be soooo popular and cool? Have a party! Stressed about how to host a party? Don't be.. Make it a BYOB party. They bring the bread and you have a variety of jams and jellies, one jar of crunchy peanut butter and one of creamy waiting on them and then you are set. You are welcome for this idea. 

     PB&J can be cheap
If you are tight on money, this is the sandwich for you. Not only is it reasonable on the wallet but all the supplies you need to buy for this wonderful creation will last you a good while.

     PB&J can get crazy
Peanut butter and jelly soup, pizza, cake, muffin, pie, shake, casserole.. whatever you want!

I just hope this gets you thinking and you realize peanut butter and jelly can and should be a part of every aspect of our lives.

It took me 22 years to realize this...
      -What the L

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thoughts of a college girl...

 I think I want to start blogging. We will see if it sticks. I just hope to write things that make peoples' days better. Or maybe this will just be a good way for my mom to keep up with me. We will see… hey mom!

I’ve decided, since I will be graduating in a few weeks (whoa!), that I’m going to highlight the top things I learned in my undergraduate career. Don’t worry, I can’t remember most of the academics, but there are some big things I wish I could have grasped before I posted up my inspirational posters in my freshmen dorm room and moved in.

These are the things I wish I would have known:

1.  I am not a big deal… to most.
 That seems kind of sad, but really! A lot of freshmen kiddos, myself included, come into their college career ready to rock their campus, which is great, but then you soon find that 5,000 other freshmen are on the exact same playing field as you. But wait college campus, don’t you know I have funny jokes! I have good ideas! I am spontaneous! I can be deep! I can be shallow! I can laugh! I can cry! I make good facebook albums! I like to bake! I’m real cool! I'll play on your intramural team! You are so welcome I chose your institution to come to! Well, it’s not really like that. I quickly learned that we are all really big deals in our own ways and in our own worlds. My dad once told me that if I have a hand full of true best friends in my life then I am really blessed. I think I agree with that. 
Lesson: Be thankful for the relationships where you are both big deals to each other.

2. Unless you are a college athlete, nobody is making you run… nobody.  
In the highschool days, Jackelyn and I would go to Waffle house and eat the All Star before 6:30 am conditioning. I would eat cinnamon rolls for break. A burger and fries for lunch. A couple of slices of Holy Cow cake for dessert. Sonic on my way home. My moms dinner and a bowl of cereal before bed. We would also go get a molten lava cake from Chili’s on the regular. I also used to run before school, during school, and after school every day..
Lesson: You just can’t eat the same when you aren’t working out the same. Pick apples over muffins. 

3. Forget school... sometimes.
Grades are really important, people are more important. Do well in school, work hard, pay attention, turn stuff in, apply yourself, but never put school in front of people. Never??? Ehhh.. usually don’t put school in front of people. My favorite conversations in college usually came between the hours of 3 and 7 am. There were so many all nighters with friends where we could have gone to sleep or we could have read the chapter one more time, but instead we talked about meaningful stuff. Also, go on roadtrips even if you have a test the next week. When 3 of my best friends and I randomly packed up my car at 10pm and headed to Charleston, we all had stuff due that Monday. We all survived and it was easily one of the best weekends of my college life.
Lesson:  Relationships and Charleston are more important than being a straight A student.  B's get degrees.

4. Don’t plan... it always changes. 
We all seem to always be working towards something. Which is so so great. Have a goal and work hard for it, but don’t try too hard to work out the details. They never ever ever play out the way you think they will. Just go with it. I asked my grandmother a long time ago what the main thing she has learned in life is and she said “it always works out for the best”. Nana is so wise, and so right! If you are reading this paragraph then you are still alive… meaning all the little stuff that stresses you out hasn’t defeated you yet. Stress is everywhere, it’s up to you how you handle it. Don’t let it run you though because it will make you break out and lose sleep and become grumpy and people will start to avoid you. 
Lesson: Everything always works out… God is smarter than we are. 

5. Communicate… in person. 
Facebook is killing us all! If you can leave a heartfelt wall post but not carry on a heartfelt conversation then you are doomed. If you can post awesome statuses and get tons of comments on it but are always on your smart phone looking at your comments when you are with people, then they will eventually stop posting. You might have all the boys "liking" your Spring Break album but make sure people are liking you in personal settings too. If you can tag pictures with the best of them and title your albums something clever every time, that’s great, but just remember a game of tag is better than tagging. Oh and talking is better than texting. Wow, I just sounded like such a drag.. I like facebook! 
Lesson: Keep it personal. 

6. Give … until you can’t give anymore.  
We all need each other! Put others first. If they are cool they will be there for you when you need them too. What good are your time, money, thoughts, energy, laughs, fears, stories, and heart if you don’t use them to benefit others?! 
Lesson: Leave zero doubt with the ones you love that you love them. 

7. Oh yeah..  eye contact is huge. Remember peoples' name after you meet them. Sit in the front of the classroom. If you're late to class, don't stroll in with your coffee. Printers fail when you need them most. Always have an umbrella in your backpack. Smile.

Was this too long? Possibly. I will work on that.

I've been in college for 4 years?!
          - What the L