Your Will, Not Mine. 

I’ve started this blog about 15 times already, but I end up reading what I’m writing and deleting it just as fast because I just don’t know what to say.

Well, actually, that’s not entirely true. I know what to say, but I’m having a hard time saying it.

It wasn’t too long ago that I listened to a sermon about Pride

I’ve never really thought of myself as a prideful person, but turns out, I am.

A lot.

My pride was hurt when my ex husband walked out on me. It was hurt when I found out that he was cheating.

It killed me to have to start over. 

To live on my parents’ couch for 4 months while I tried to piece my life back together.

I work in a business where pride runs the show. Even this blog has made its own contribution.

The truth is, I pride myself on doing it all on my own. Being a single mom, who not only has a successful business, but who homeschools, who works out 6 days a week. Who really does her best not to depend on anyone. 

I hate asking for help. 

But more than that, I hate admitting that I need help.

And this is the lesson He’s been trying to teach me.

This is the lesson I’ve been avoiding. Pretending not to hear Him. Pretending to have a plan B, C, D…

Praying for discernment and wisdom, but really hoping that I’d figure it out all on my own. Or that He would just jump on board with my will, not His.

 So, here I am. I’m sure you’ve seen my many selfies and beach photos. Living it up in Florida over the last few weeks while my kids spend some time with their dad.

I’ve bragged about my life. Bragged about being able to take vacation after vacation. And on one hand, I’ve been completely honest. On the other, I’ve manipulated what you see. 

The truth is I have been blessed. Very blessed. Everything I have is a gift from Him. Everything. And while I work hard, none of this is my doing. It’s Him.

I think I forgot that for a little bit. Truly believing that I got myself to where I am. 

I didn’t. He did.

The truth is I’ve spent about $30 on this vacation. I have been blessed to be able to stay with friends and family during this time away. 

And thank goodness, because financially, I’m struggling. 

Money has always been a tough topic to talk about. With anyone. It makes me uncomfortable. And as much as I hate having a budget, I have to have one. 

I’ve done well on my own. I still can’t believe that I get paid to do what I do for a living. 

And I never thought that I could do this on my own, but I am (well, with His help, of course.) 

But what I’ve learned, or rather, what He’s trying to teach me, is that it isn’t all about what I can do.

And honestly, I can’t do it alone. 

It’s a lesson I’ve seen this entire trip. If you’re familiar with 12 step programs, it’s steps 1-3. 

Given my own history with recovery, I can’t help but find it ironic that these are the steps I struggle with. 

To sum it up:

  1. Admitted we were powerless.
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Turned our life and our will over to the care of God as we understood him.

Oh, how I go about each day thinking that I’m in control. That I’ve got it. 

Cue, eyeroll. 

So this trip has been all about acknowledging these steps.

Let’s have another eyeroll. 

I can’t get into the many details of what has happened since I left my house in April, but it’s Him. 

And the final lesson is that I can’t do it. Not without Him. 

My sales are down. My ex owes me money. I have bills that are due and, to be honest, I have no idea how I’m going to pay for them. 

I was sharing these things with my friend. 

“It’s like He has put up a wall on everything. Literally, He has blocked my way. The only way left to go is His way.”

I’m reminding myself of all the life lessons I’ve had up until this point because going His way is intimidating. It’s humbling. And even though I know it’s not, it seems so unsure. 

“The thing is, there is nothing scarier than when I can’t hear Him anymore. When He goes quiet. When I’m screaming out to Him and yet, I hear nothing…and then there are times like this, when I know His voice exactly. When I can’t pretend not to hear Him. When He’s so loud that there’s no escaping Him.” 

That’s where I’m at. 

I’ve tried plans B, C, and D, but it’s evident that no matter what my plan is, it won’t work. 

Therefore, this is what I will do:
I will block her way with thorns; 
I will enclose her with a wall,
So that she cannot find her paths.

                                          Hosea 2:6

As I shared what was going on with another friend, she approached me about setting up a Gofundme. Immediately, I cringed. 

I didn’t want people to know that I was having such a hard time. 

I was embarrassed. I AM embarrassed. 

She felt that God had put it on her heart to do this for me. 

I didn’t want to admit it, but I knew she was probably right. 

It went hand in hand with what He had been trying to do in my life. 

So, I let her. But I had a few conditions. I wasn’t going to share it with anyone I knew. She was not allowed to tag me either.

We should probably do another eye roll for good measure. 

We talked again after I got some more bad news.

“I think you should share it,” she said. 

I hesitated. Then quickly came up with a few excuses why I couldn’t do that. I told her I would pray about it, but what I meant is that I would briefly mention it during my prayers and move onto the next subject without waiting for a response.

I guess it is true that He knows us better than we know ourselves because I knew the answer to the prayer I hadn’t even prayed. 

Immediately, I knew.

“Lauren,” she said, “this is how He uses you. You go through your struggles and you share it with people and in that you bring people closer to Him. People get to see who He is through you. How do you know that He doesn’t want you to share this so someone else can be blessed?” 

I held back the tears. 

I knew she was right. 

This is what We did. 

I struggled. He blessed.

So was my ego really too big to do what we had always done? 

Over the course of this relationship did I really begin to believe that He had nothing to do with getting me to where I was?

So here I am. 

Finally finishing up the blog that I couldn’t write just a few days ago. 

Humbling myself to you, but mostly to Him.

Admitting that I am powerless. That my life had become unmanageable. And that the only way to change that would be with Him. Turning my life and my will over to Him. No matter if I think I have a better way. Or if my path is a little less intimidating. 

I’m not doing this because of the money. Or to make myself feel better after I receive encouragement for being so open and honest. 

Nope, I’m doing this because it isn’t really about me. 

Never has been.

But, because Your will, not mine. 


So this entire trip has been about learning to not only step out of my comfort zone, but to be comfortable doing it. 

I’ve already begun to make baby steps. Doing things I never would do. Trying foods I would never have eaten. 

I’ve joked since Justin first left me about wanting my very own ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ moment, but the thing is, He listened. 

Because here it is. 
So the other day, in theme with my trip, I decided to buy a bikini. 
Now, some of you may not believe that He had something to do with something so silly and trivial, but I would have to disagree. 
Hear me out. 

There it was. In my favorite colors. It had not been in the same store when I was in NC nor had it been online. 

It was everything I could want in a bathing suit. Except that it was a bikini. 

It had been over 8 years since I had worn a two piece. And I’m not going to lie, the second I laid my eyes on it, I began to criticize the way my body would look in it. 
This bathing suit was meant for a ‘perfect’ body. Whatever that meant. But I grabbed it anyways and quickly made it to the checkout line before I changed my mind. 

When I got to my car I threw the bag into my backseat. And I left it there for a few days. Uncertain of what I was supposed to do with it. Puzzled that a bathing suit could bring up so many emotions and feelings that I had worked so hard to suppress. 

Memories of the way I felt about my body growing up were suddenly at the forefront of my mind. Never mind all the progress I had made in the last few years. 

Suddenly I was back to where I was. Embarrassed, ashamed, and full of self hate. 

The bag sat in my car for a few days. I pretended not to notice it when I would get in the car. 

But there it was.

Because I don’t give up on things and because I can be one of the most stubborn people you will ever meet, I knew that I would wear that bathing suit at least once. 

And so, last week, I put it on. 

Maybe I was hoping it was all in my head. That my body was ‘perfect’ for this bathing suit. But when I looked in the mirror, the full size mirror, I might add, I felt the same way I had when I held it up in the store. 

But then I realized something. Something big. 

Who really cares about what I wear to the beach? 

I was so nervous that someone would think ‘eww, why is she wearing that?’ Or that someone would say the things I was saying to myself. 

But let’s be real. 

People who are at the beach did not come to see what I would be wearing. They didn’t come to criticize me. To put me down. They came to see the beach. 

And if they did, it had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the way they thought of themselves. 

The things that mattered were the things I was saying to myself. And it was time I started being a little nicer. 

So, I grabbed my bag and I made my way to the beach. Bikini and all. 

And I’ve done it more than once. 

Am I where I want to be? Not yet. But I’m celebrating every step forward that I take. 

Because stubborn or not, I did it. 

And no one can take that away from me. Not even myself. 

Hand Holding

Last week, God laid some pretty crazy things on my heart. 

“This is what we’re going to do,” He said. 

I couldn’t help but think He was a little crazy, but I went with it. 

And just to make sure I was hearing Him correctly I went on a 3 day fast. And y’all. I heard Him correctly.

So my fast is over. I’m back to my typical routine and life. And, to be honest, I’m back to my old ways.

I seriously can’t roll my eyes enough at this.

Because the truth is, last week I was so close to Him. Like, so close. I could feel Him everywhere. I knew Him in a way I hadn’t before. Our relationship had become intimate. It had become the relationship that I was dying to have with Him. 

Seriously, I was on another level. 

But like I said, I’ve fallen back to my old habits.

Let me explain.

Okay, so last week God had put some things on my heart. I saw a plan (even if I didn’t have all the details). I saw a purpose. It made sense. 

And I was all in.

So today, when the plan started to drift from what I thought it would look like, my first reaction was to embrace for impact. 

What do I mean?

I mean, telling myself that I probably didn’t hear Him correctly. That maybe I was mistaken. Maybe this wasn’t the plan after all. 


Did you guys see what I just did there? Because I didn’t. Not right away anyways. 

And I’m pretty sure that most of us do what I did, naturally. It’s our go-to because we don’t really get who He is. 

And if you read my blog from last week, you would see that today, I did my best to stuff Him back into that tiny little box. 

Because here’s the truth, y’all. When things started to go differently than I had expected them to, I immediately thought it couldn’t be done. 

The plan He had just couldn’t be done if He didn’t stick to the way I thought it should work. 

Because that’s so typical of me. Thinking that my way is the best way and if it isn’t done my way, well then, what’s the point? 

But here’s the truth. The truth is that my God can do anything. 

The truth is, no matter how hard I try I will never get Him to fit inside of that box. 

The truth is, that this Sunday we are celebrating the fact that my God overcame death. 

The truth is, that there is nothing too impossible for Him.

The truth is, He doesn’t have to have a detailed plan because at His command it will all fall into place.

The truth is, this isn’t really about Him and His abilities, but rather it’s about me, my heart, and my faith to believe that if He said He would, He will. 

And so today when I realized what I had done I had to dig deep and ask myself ‘Do you really think He can do it? Or were you just thinking He could if He did it your way?’ 

And y’all, that realization hurt me. Because at the first sign of it not going the way I thought it should I just believed that He wasn’t going to do it. 

And that is a bold faced lie straight from the pit of hell. 

That’s what the enemy wants me to believe. That not only He won’t do it, but that I never heard Him in the first place. 

Because the enemy would rather create doubt inside of my heart so that I would stop trusting God to do it and maybe take things into my own hands. 

But not this time. 

So what if He doesn’t show me the exact layout of His plan. That’s not how this relationship works. He wants me to know that He is good. And that His plans are good. And that everything He does is for my good. Whether it goes the way I want it to or it doesn’t. 

All I have to do is have faith in Him. 

He doesn’t ask me to collaborate on a plan. He doesn’t ask me for a plan B, if His doesn’t work. All He asks of me is that I have faith in Him and in who He is. 

He isn’t going to show us all the details. Because if He did that makes it easy to trust Him. If we see the details and we see the outcome, what exactly do we have to put our faith in? 

It’s trusting in the things we can’t see. Believing Him even when it looks like the odds are against us. 

It’s being willing to step off the ledge without seeing what’s underneath, but only being able to see who’s holding our hand. 

So today, I want you to join me and ask yourself ‘Do you really think He can do it? Or were you just thinking He could if He did it your way?’

Because I’m thinking He can really do it. 

He’s Got Me

You know, I have never questioned my faith. And I have never questioned my relationship with God. There are few things in this life that I am completely certain of, but those two, I know for a fact.

I know when I hear God’s voice. I know when He tells me ‘yes’ and when He tells me ‘no’. 

Of course, I don’t always instantly hear it, but for me, there’s a process. He’s been doing it since I first started listening, so when I hear Him, I hear Him. 

People don’t like that. I think it makes them uncomfortable.

And so they question it. 

‘Are you sure that’s what He’s telling you?’ ‘I mean, why would He tell you that?’ ‘That just doesn’t make any sense.’ ‘Are you sure you’re just not wanting to hear that?’

That’s the enemy. I know it. It’s eerily familiar to the story of creation, don’t you think? 

Genesis 3:1 …”Did God actually say…” 

And I’ll be honest, if I didn’t have the relationship I have with Him, I would be hesitant. I would doubt. I would wonder, ‘Am I actually hearing Him? Did He actually say that?’ 

Because that brings me to my next point. The basis for these words. 

Y’all, God does some crazy things. And they don’t always make sense. Not even a little. Definitely not a lot.

The first story that comes to mind is about another girl. A young teenage girl who was pretty much a nobody. A virgin nobody. Who was just minding her own business, engaged to her boyfriend Joseph and then BOOM. 

Imagine being her friend. Imagine hearing her story. ‘Yeah, um, so you guys, (I’m totally paraphrasing how she would talk) funny thing, but I’m actually carrying God’s child. No, I’m totally still a virgin. Oh, um, yeah, no the Holy Spirit impregnated me. Joseph? Yeah, um, well, an angel told him what happened, so I think we’re good.” 

Would you believe her? I’m not sure that I would. I know that sounds awful, but I get it, right? That’s crazy. Why in the world would God do it that way? Why would He make it so unbelievable? 

Well, I’m no expert, but I have an idea.

He calls us to trust Him. He offers no explanation. And more often than not, His way is not the way the world would do it or the way the world is even comfortable with. 

I know this, because what He has put on my heart is going to shock you. When you find out what He’s calling me to do, you’re going to call me crazy. You’re going to have opinion after opinion on why I shouldn’t have done this or why I should have done it a different way. 

It’s not going to make sense. 

And that’s okay. 

Because after a lot of thinking and a lot of praying, I realize it’s not really up to you. Just like it really isn’t up to me. 

Over the last week, He has been adamant in sharing verse after verse with me on trusting Him:

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.” Jeremiah 17:7

“And put your trust in the Lord.” Psalm 4:5

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” Psalm 37:3

I couldn’t help but chuckle. “Okay, God, I get it. Trust you. Yep, I’m there.” But that was before He shared His plan. 

Fortunately, I am firm in my faith. And I know the relationship I have with Him. And so even afterwards, I was okay with it. (Even though, I may have thrown around the word ‘crazy’ a few times.)

Now, the world will tell me that there are a thousand reasons why I shouldn’t do what He said. Why this is crazy. Why this doesn’t sound like the God they know. 

But I am not of this world, remember? 

I remember when I came home to NC to visit in September 2015. It had been years since I had seen my friends and my family. Not to mention, it had been years since I had been happy in my marriage.

The truth was I hated my life back in Houston. I struggled. I was in a loveless marriage and I knew it. I knew that my husband was cheating on me and yet, I stayed. 

But a couple days before I was to go back home, I texted my husband. Asked him if I should even come home, because I was scared. He assured me everything would be fine. 

As I said my goodbyes to my friends and family the same feeling kept coming up. No one wanted me to go back home. They begged me to stay. And to be honest, I thought about it.

I mean, I had finally gotten away. I could start my life over. I had a support system. Aside from clothes and toys, I didn’t really need to go home. 

It would have been easier to stay.

As I spent my last day with my best friend, she asked me “why are you going back there?” 

I went to the bathroom. I could feel the tears coming. And as I shut the door I asked Him why I had to go back. 

“Because I said so.” 

It was such a typical dad response, but that was all I needed to know. 

And as I explained it to her, I knew she didn’t understand, no one did. Not even myself, but what I did know was that He was telling me to go home. 

And so I did.

You already know the rest of the story. I got home and my husband walked out the next day on our 5 year wedding anniversary. 

I remember asking Him what the heck the point was. And I still haven’t really gotten an answer, but again, it’s not my place to know His plans. All I need to know is that everything that happens is a part of His plan. And He is good. 

That’s it.

And I can’t help but notice that I did trust Him. And I obeyed Him and He blessed me beyond anything that I deserved. But that’s who He is. He takes care of it. 

So now we’re here. 

He’s got another crazy plan up His sleeve (assuming He wears a shirt) and people just don’t understand it. 

But can I tell you something else? Something I’ve just realized or recognized or acknowledged, I’m not sure which one just yet.

For so long I have tried my best to fit Him inside of this box. This nice, neat, little box. It’s the only way that I can make sense of Him, most days. But the truth is, He doesn’t fit, y’all. He is so much more than a tiny, little box. And I don’t have to understand Him in order for Him to be Himself. 

I don’t. 

And when I finally took Him out of this tiny box, y’all, it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.  

Gosh, it was beautiful.

And so, I’m just gonna trust Him. 

And y’all, I mean this in the sweetest way, but honestly, I just can’t worry about what you guys think. I just can’t do it anymore.

Because it exhausts me. 

And I know that most of you mean well and that you just worry because you love me, but y’all, He’s got me. 

And really, I just need to save my energy for trusting Him, because, well, He keeps telling me to do these crazy things. 


I see how you look at me. Don’t think I don’t notice,  because I do. 

I’m a threat to you. I get it.

Because when you look at me, you see yourself.

Because you can’t quite figure it out. What did I do wrong?

Because from the outside we had it all. Just like you.

Because we appeared to be happy. ‘Was she faking the whole time?’

Because if it were that bad she would have left, right? 

Because I make you uncomfortable. 

Because it just doesn’t make sense. 

Because it just looks too familiar. 

So you keep me at a distance. 

Because you want to believe that it can’t be you. It could never be you.

Because you’re happy. And because you love eachother. And because you would never get a divorce. 

Because that only happens to people like me. 

Because it just doesn’t happen to people like you. 

At least, that’s what you tell yourself. 

And so I see how you look at me. 

Because I used to have the same look on my face too. 


Last week, I decided to jump in the car and head to Key West. 

The truth is, I had had a really hard weekend before. I was hurting. I was confused. And I couldn’t understand God’s purpose. 

Actually, I felt betrayed by my Father. Betrayed and hurt and lonely. 

And so I decided to escape for a little bit.

It wasn’t long after I got into the car that I realized this was His plan. I still couldn’t understand the whole thing. But I had a glimpse. 

The drive was long. But the conversations between the two of us were longer. 

Typically, in our relationship, I do most of the talking. I have a very hard time listening. I struggle in the quiet. I struggle just being in His presence, but when you’re stuck in the car for over 15 hours, you don’t have much of a choice. 

So, I listened.

I expected to be in trouble. I hadn’t been behaving the way I thought I should have been. I expected that He was angry with me. 

But He wasn’t. 

There was love in His voice. He acknowledged the mistakes I had made, but reassured me that it was okay. 

He reminded me that even though He sent His son to die for my sins, it was an ongoing act of love. I was never going to be sinless. But He died to pursue me. Always and forever. 

And so that’s what He did. On the car ride down. And every minute since I’ve been here. He has been pursuing me. 

I don’t know about you, but I can often seek the approval and the attention I so desperately need from everyone else, but Him. 

I can get caught up in the distraction of trying to be the best, the most put together. Maybe it’s because I’m the oldest child or maybe it’s something from my past marriage, I don’t know what it is, but my desire to be perfect is overwhelming. 

I strive to be the best I can at everything I do. I want people to look at me and notice that I have it all together. I want the clean house, the perfect job. I want the hours at the gym. I want to be the best single mom. I want my kids to be perfect. 

I want to be the perfect mess. 

Don’t let this fool you, I know I am not perfect. Not even close. But I strive to be. I exhaust myself to be. 

And it’s a race I know I’ll never win. 

And that was His reminder. I am never going to be perfect. Not according to the standards I’ve set for myself. 

The world’s standards. 

But that it’s okay, because I am perfect because He is perfect.

I am good. Because He is good.

I am enough. Because He is enough. 

I will always fall short according to the world’s standards. I will never have enough. I will never be enough. There will always be someone better. Or someone who is at least better at pretending to be better. But that’s not what this life is about. 

This life is about not wanting those things. It’s about wanting Him. 

So a week into this adventure and I’m ready to admit to you that I am not perfect. My house is not always clean. I yell. I get angry. I cry way more than I probably should. Sometimes I am the furthest example of Christ. Sometimes I find myself hating someone for no reason other than my own insecurities. And more often than not, it’s easier for me to point out your flaws than address my own. 

But those things are okay. And chances are you feel the same exact way most days. Because this world, despite it pretending like it understands the definition of ‘perfect’ is anything but. 

It’s broken. And so are we. But that’s okay because He isn’t. 

And we are made whole in Him. 

So today is the first day I stopped comparing myself. Today is the first day that I woke up and I didn’t care what anyone thought. Today is the first day that I looked in the mirror and was ready to love myself in spite of the many flaws that I could point out in that reflection. 

Because today was the day that I didn’t see myself first, but instead, I saw Him. 

The Best Decision

Because it’s easy to love yourself when you’re working out everyday. Or when you’ve been eating well. 

Sticking to the plan. 

It’s easy to love yourself when you’re doing everything right, but what about those moments where you’re anything but? 

I used to get hung up on those moments. Beat myself up for my failures. I would hang on to every imperfection. Every mistake. 

The truth is, I would be become very insecure. I would believe that people could see every single fault of mine, but the actual truth was only I could see them. 

And even though I’ve had my fair share of ‘mean girls’ there’s no one meaner than myself. 

Given the opportunity, I can cut myself down to nothing. 

And it isn’t pretty. 

Because wouldn’t it make sense to love yourself especially during those times? 

I am always talking about giving grace to others. Showing compassion and love, even when they don’t deserve it. 

So why not me? 

Why not ourselves? 

Because even though I might have an off day. Or even though I might make a bad choice. Or I might slip. That’s just one choice. Why not celebrate the hundreds of good choices I’ve made? 

Why not be able to celebrate the choice to love myself even when it’s hard? 

So what if I had a doughnut for breakfast instead of my 3 hardboiled eggs. And maybe chocolate cake at the birthday party wasn’t necessary, but, boy, was it good. 

Because there’s no reason to beat myself up over it. I made the choice and now it’s time to move on. 

Because the next good decision is right around the corner. 

And the best decision you can ever make is to love yourself. 

Today Only! 

Guess what today is?! 

It’s my 3 year anniversary with Beautycounter

So today only! When you spend $150+ I’m going to give you a FREE chic, canvas pouch! That’s in addition to the FREE Rejuvenating Eye Cream and FREE Calendula Lip Balm!

And if you’re not a Band of Beauty member yet, you could get a FREE Soothing Face Oil too and FREE shipping! Oh and money back to spend on your next order! 

Message me to take advantage! Because you can’t afford not to take advantage of this incredible offer! 

Free Stuff

Okay, raise your hand if you love free stuff? Yeah, me too! 

What if I told you that Beautycounter is giving away some major free stuff and I could help you take advantage? You interested yet? You should be. 

So when you spend $150+ you’re gonna get a FREE full size Rejuvenating Eye Cream and. FREE full size Calendula Lip BalmBut it gets better. 

When you become a Band of Beauty member. Think Amazon Prime, but cheaper. We’re going to give you a FREE full size Soothing Lustro Face OilNot to mention, you’ll be able to take advantage of FREE shipping on orders over $100 and you’ll earn 15% back in product credit to use on your next order. Yep, we pay you to shop. 

So what do you have to lose? 


**offer ends 2/28/17 or while supplies last**