Why You Need a Lindsay

You need a Lindsay. And I’m going to tell you why.

The love of my sister Lindsay AMAZES me. She is one of the greatest gifts in my life. Do you know why? She gives me the most precious of things: unconditional love, and the complete freedom to be myself.

If you’re like me, you sometimes wonder if you’re really unconditionally loved. Yes, people love you: family, spouses, etc.  But let’s be honest. Do you ever feel like they only love you because it’s in their job description? Or perhaps you think they might love you NOW, but if they EVER discovered X, Y, and Z, they would turn and run as fast as they could. Or maybe you feel like if you stop living up to EXACTLY who and what they want you to be, then they will see how unworthy you are of love.

But that’s the thing about unconditional love. THERE ARE NO CLAUSES. There is no job description that they have to live up to. They might discover X, Y, and Z, or maybe they already know it—and it DOESN’T MATTER. And maybe you stop living up to who and what they think you should be, just to discover 1) They never thought that in the first place, and 2) They are just so glad that you’re being YOU that it doesn’t matter HOW you do it.

That’s the second part: freedom to be yourself. This is what I have learned from my sister Lindsay. ImageI can be the exact mess of a person I am, and she still somehow loves me. Not just loves me, but thinks I’m AWESOME. (No, I’m serious, she really does. No bribes or anything.) She thinks my silly words are brilliant and my lame jokes are hilarious. Some days I am depressed and moody and stressed. That’s ok with her. It’s just a good excuse to go get ice cream so we can eat it and talk, cry, or whatever. I can express my worst feelings and most terrible thoughts, and Lindsay listens and wants to hear more. That’s a GIFT, people. It’s hard to find.

But it CAN be found. So here’s your challenge: start looking for your Lindsays. You may not think you can find that love and freedom, but I believe you can. It may be someone you already know, but you simply haven’t realized it yet. Stop trying to fit into their “perception” of you and let them love your imperfections.

So risk some things. Be a little silly. Say something dumb. Let people see the real you…because very possibly, they will LOVE it. That’s what I’m learning from my sister.

I am praying you find your Lindsay, too. And then, be a Lindsay for someone else.

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Memories

So my sister and I are with my parents right now, helping them move into their new house. In the process, we are going through all the boxes and closets that have been closed and packed up for years. I’m constantly coming across things I had forgotten about or thought I might never see again. Here are a few things I’ve found:

*The small bear named Harris that was given to me the day I was born over 27 years ago.

*The Pooh Bear I got at age 3 who is now so old it’s hard to tell that he’s yellow.

*The little white and blue pajamas that I put on my favorite doll, Josh.

*The old cleats that I wore for countless, sweaty hours on the soccer field I loved so much.

*The purple, off-the-shoulder dress I wore to my 11th grade Junior-Senior Banquet that made me feel like a princess.

*Five (THICK) journals filled with writing of my life from age 18-20, exclaiming over each joy and despairing with each misery.

*A ton of clothes from my two super-skinny years at college (let’s avoid present comparisons to those years, shall we?).

I don’t think we can count our memories by the “stuff” we have, but it’s hard to look at old stuff without having all those memories come flooding back to you. Some of those memories are joyful, some are painful, and some forever define you. Either way, those memories make us who we are.

Let’s chat: if you unpacked your closet of memories, what things might you find?

My Birthday

26. I am now 26. Crazy. Kinda feels like 25. Except I know it’s moving me into the latter half of my twenties. And that brings me back to “crazy.”

Today’s been an amazing day! I’m so thankful. I’ve had such happiness, gratitude, and joy. My parents texted bright and early to wish me a happy birthday. My friends/co-workers at DBU have made my day truly amazing. From gifts to hugs, to Chik-Fil-A lunches and cake, it’s been amazing. I really wish I could tell you how wonderful each one of them is, and how special they have made my day.

My sister has exclaimed all day about my birthday and how, for this one day, I get to be four years older than she is this year. We’re going to see a movie tonight after work also. She is amazing. She loves me more than most ever could, and she’s the reason I’ve made it this far. I adore her. It will be my joy to celebrate her birthday tomorrow, too.

After several weeks of deeper depression, I have been blessed to feel happy on my birthday. Thank you, Lord. It’s a beautiful gift.

In response to my last birthday wish post, I know of at least four women who have donated to Mercy Ministries in honor of my birthday. I’m SO thankful for that. The young women at Mercy deserve hope and healing; thank you to the women who helped contribute to that, including Catlin and Rachel.

In response to a my selfish birthday wish Tweet, I got a direct message from Jamie Tworkowski, founder of TWLOHA and a true hero of mine, that wished me a happy birthday. It’s one of the coolest things to happen to me today. AND shortly after that, Renee Yohe just followed me on Twitter. If you don’t know, she’s the story and inspiration behind To Write Love On Her Arms, or the “HER” in that title. I’m still floored. She’s been such a huge inspiration in my life.

So, I’m 26. My friends and family are amazing. I bought a birthday dress to wear today, and I felt pretty. My God gave me the blessed gift of life and happiness today.  So all in all…it’s a “crazy” day, in the very best way.

Guess what? Internet!

TheUpdate ThUrsday

Wow, I feel like most of what I write these days are TheUpdate ThUrsdays! To be fair, not only has it been holiday season where there is business with family, traveling, etc., but I was in Georgia visiting my grandparents for the last week. And if you have read previous posts about my visits to Georgia, you know I get no internet there. Sad day, I know. Technically, I could have wandered to the Krystals up the street and bought a coke to use their Wi-Fi, but I never get around to that either. Additionally, I had gone to Austin two days after Christmas and got back a day before I went to Georgia, so I really haven’t had a lot of time to sit down at the computer anyways.

SO. Update time.

After Christmas, my sis and I got to have a road-trip to Austin with my aunt. It was a blast, and we had a lot of fun getting to visit with her more since she lives in Massachusetts and we don’t get to see her as often as we’d like. PLUS, I got to see my boyfriend Scott which was fabulous; otherwise, I wouldn’t have gotten to see him till this coming weekend (which would’ve made it a month since we’d seen each other). Scott and I spent time with my sister, aunt, and a friend of hers; but we also had some great time to ourselves. I think it was one of our best visits together.

We got back from Austin on the 29th, and Lindsay and I left the next day for Georgia. We had a great visit with my grandparents there. Do to health and other reasons, they really don’t sit in their house most of the day every day, so we were glad to be able to give them some company. We had a good time. My mom came a few days after we did and spent the rest of the week there with all of us. We also got to see my uncle, and my aunt and her husband also drove down to visit. While we were there we celebrated the 65th wedding anniversary of my grandparents–how cool is that! Plus, during the visit, I hit the library hard and read 6 1/2 books between Saturday afternoon and Tuesday night. It was fabulous. (The 1/2 book came from one I started but decided not to finish.)

And now we’re back home in Texas. It’s good to be back with my dad and my puppy Ellie. Tomorrow is a pretty big day for me. If you remember I previously mentioned that I had a full-time job opportunity come up, and I’m going tomorrow morning for the second interview which could determine whether or not I get the job. This could be an awesome opportunity for me, and I’m praying God will open that door if that’s where He wants to take me. Please pray/keep your fingers crossed/wish me well/whatever-the-heck-you’d-like! I will let you know if I get the job.

I’ll be trying to catch up on my blogging soon. Hope you are having a fabulous week!

I heart Christmas time!

TheUpdate ThUrsday

Hey all! Sorry for skipping the last two days. I figured you’ll forgive me since it’s Christmas time and pretty crazy (plus, Christmas time is about forgiveness, so if you don’t forgive me, you’re getting NOTHING tomorrow. Haha, jk!).

Well since my last TheUpdate ThUrsday, nothing life-altering has happened. But guess what, guess what?! Today is Christmas Eve!! I’m so excited.

This week has basically been about Christmas and family, two of my favorite things. This week, I have put up our Christmas tree, made Christmas cookies to mail to Scott along with a Christmas-care package from our family, wrote Christmas cards to a few close friends, spent time with my grandparents, picked up my aunt at the airport (she came in from Massachussettes), made a family Christmas dessert with my aunt and sister, got all excited about Christmas morning and jumped around like a kid a few times, helped finish shopping, wrapped presents, and got super happy about the SNOW we got today!! (Wow, that’s a long sentence. Don’t worry; there are commas, so it makes it not a run-on sentence…right?)

My favorite thing about Christmas is the gifts. Now don’t get me wrong, I love getting them. But I have to say I love giving them, too. There’s an awesome feeling of putting time and even some money into making someone’s Christmas extra special.

Personally, I hope your Christmas is extra special, too.

The best Christmas ever…and Kris Allen

Ladies and gentlemen, the first

M&M Monday

Today I’ll be sharing with you a Memory and also a song (Music) that I currently have stuck in my head.

Memory

Since it’s Christmas week, I thought I would share a Christmas memory. I don’t have a specific time, but from all the Christmases past my favorite memory is usually decorating our tree. We had a specific tree we put together every Christmas while we lived in Asia. We had a random assortment of ornaments due to a tradition my mom set up. Every year, she would buy three ornaments (usually all the same). There would be one for her and dad and then one for both my sister and me when we left home. She wanted to make sure we would have a set of ornaments when it came time to have our own trees.

So every year we would play Christmas music and pull out our cute little fake tree to carefully slide each branch into its hole on the green pole. We would string the lights all over it (lights were our favorite part of the tree) and then painstakingly place each ornament on a limb. We would smile at the memories each ornament carried, or grin when one of our favorite ornaments got placed on the tree. One year when I was especially young, I remember becoming so excited as we put our Christmas tree together that I exclaimed “This is gonna be the best Christmas ever!” And inevitably the next year when we put together another tree, I would get even more excited and say “This is gonna be the best Christmas ever!” Every year I truly believed it was going to be the best Christmas ever. And once I got older, I began to say it out of tradition. But that is definitely one of my favorite Christmas memories, to be able to say that phrase every year when I really, really believed that it would be the best Christmas ever.

&

Music

Many of you have probably heard this song, but I only discovered it recently when I heard Kris Allen perform it on So You Think You Can Dance. I looked it up and have been playing it non-stop lately, so I wanted to share it with you awesome blog readers. (To view the version with lyrics, click here.)

Life as of now

Welcome to the first

TheUpdate ThUrsday!

In efforts to keep you up-to-date with my life, I’m installing Update Thursdays where I share any new updates in my life. I know it may not be terribly fascinating, so please feel free to skip these updates if you prefer. No hard feelings, I promise. (Maybe a few tears…but no hard feelings. Hehe, just kidding!)

Currently, let me catch you up with where I am:

I have spent a good part of the last month or two completing and sending in graduate applications for the fall. I want to pursue a psychology degree so I can be licensed as a counselor. I have applied to several schools, but I won’t hear back from most till February at the earliest. Obviously I have no idea which, if any, I would be accepted to, so a lot of my future plans are pretty hazy till I know more.

I did have a new development in the job department. I was going to look into mostly part-time jobs till the fall; however, I did have a full-time job opportunity come up. I have had the first interview and they would like me to come back for a second interview. I’m very nervous and also very excited about what it could mean. It would definitely throw a curve into the plans, but it might be exactly where I’m supposed to be. I’ll wait till after the second interview to explain more. Please keep me in your prayers for all of that, especially for wisdom.

For now, I’m home with my parents and sister. We’ll be visiting with my dad’s side of the family for the Christmas week, and then later after Christmas my sister and I will go visit some family in Georgia.

I hope you are having a wonderful week. Weekend’s almost here!