Fashion, Fros, and Life

Apr 22

What’s Next?

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Why hello there everyone! It has definitely been a while. 

This season with CSM has for sure been keeping me busy, but is finally winding down as it is coming to a close. I seriously can’t believe it, but I know the question on everyone’s brain is what’s next for me.

Honestly, once spring season started I had no clue. I knew I wanted to work with another non-profit, because working with CSM has done nothing but spark the flame even more in terms of working with a ministry or a non-profit. This time with CSM has grown me in so many ways, I knew I could only move forward after this.

I knew all of this to be true and where God wanted me to go, but I seriously did not know what that would look like. So, one day while I had some free time, I was looking up non-profits and I stumbled upon Mission Year (http://missionyear.org/program/). I thought it sounded pretty interesting, so I thought why not? It seemed to be taking what I learned with CSM and narrowing it down to one neighborhood. There was also a little part of me that wasn’t too sure I would get it, until I went to a visit day.

I knew applying to Mission Year would be a huge thing for me, so I prayed like crazy for this process. I asked God to have his hand over this process. So, then came visit day. This is pretty much like an orientation of sorts for people interested in Mission Year or that have already applied. When I went…..man, I definitely felt God’s hand over that day. The connections I’ve made with people, seeing the stuff they have team members do, the ministry site I am going to be connected with (which is one I’ve wanted to go to for a LONG time), it all just seemed so so right.

So after visit day came my interview, I felt like I rocked it. They said it would take about two weeks for a decision, but I found out the next day, and low and behold, I got into Mission Year Chicago!

There were so many emotions going through my mind, but mostly, I was thankful. Especially through my crazy year of getting nothing lined up job wise and now I will be interning at a local church this summer AND doing Mission Year! I honestly see why I went through the hard times.

So yes, I do not want to keep this long, but I did want to type all of this up, because with Mission Year, I am now stepping into the crazy world known as fundraising! I have to raise $12,000, but luckily I have all year to raise this, but I do want to get started now! So, if you want to help support me financially, you can go to https://missionyear.thankyou4caring.org/donate, and where it says “Designation”, you can scroll and find my name and an amount you want to donate. 

If you live in Chicago, and want to meet up to talk more about the thorough details, definitely contact me!

Also, if you can’t donate just yet, please keep me in your prayers as I prepare for this. As much as I am excited for what’s to come, there are also some things that I am nervous/sad about like having to leave my home church for 11 months (yeah :/), and living in a neighborhood that I am not used to at all.

But yeah, thank you guys so much for reading! I can’t wait to keep you guys updated on what’s to come!

Feb 28

http://www.devotionaldiva.com/2014/02/top-100-christian-women-blogs/ →

Pretty excited to be featured on Renee Fisher’s blog “Devotional Diva” as one of her Top 100 Christian Women Blogs! Check it out :) I’m number 52!

Feb 04

My Top 4 Internet Finds of the Week

Beauty

I used to love eating rice when I was younger. Seriously, just rice and rice alone. Makeup vlogger, Michelle Phan gives us a DIY Rice Scrub and Mask that I definitely want to try out soon. Who knew my favorite food could also be used on my face! Here’s that video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAWK61HQHWA

One of my favorite hair vloggers, Naptural85 is known to be pretty healthy if you watch her vlogs. In this video she gives us some tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle. I’m definitely going to try and do some of these. I know my love for reading has actually fell off as of recent and I have been trying to read more often again. Here’s the link to her video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU1XRmG605M

Life 

One of my friends posted this article online called, “Why many Americans prefer their Sundays Segregated”. The title instantly got me and the article was well written, but I found myself wanting to know more. I actually do have this interest of race relations and how it plays into many things, especially Christianity. I am super pumped to be reading one of the books mentioned in the article soon and process more of what I am thinking. Here is the link to that article: http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/08/04/segregated.sundays/index.html?_s=PM%3ALIVING

For Fun

So, I’ve recently got into watching “Parks and Recreation”. Seriously, I’ve watched every episode these past couple of months. Buzzfeed has made a quiz called, “Which Parks and Recreation Character Are You?”. I got Ann Perkins. Still not sure how I feel about that yet. For that quiz, click this link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jenlewis/which-parks-and-recreation-character-are-you?bffb

Jan 07

The Best Glasses For Your Face Shape →

I’m definitely on the hunt for a new pair of glasses, and I found this video from Michelle Phan to be pretty helpful on what I should be looking for! 

Jan 06

Unexpected Journeys →

Check out my latest post on iBelieve!! 

Dec 06

This is it….

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(The CSM Chicago team and I at the YMCA helping out with their produce day)

I can’t believe it.

My last group of the season is coming today.

Where did time go?! 

I know I said I would blog during this time, and obviously I didn’t, sorry. 

It’s been a whirlwind, but at the same time, pretty chill. This has probably been the best couple of months I’ve ever experienced in a while. From God growing me as a leader, to the ministry sites and the people I got to meet all around Chicago, to the groups I had, to my awesome directors and co-workers. Yeah, this was an unforgettable experience :)

One of the favorite parts of my job was probably getting to see the ways God is moving in Chicago. So many times we hear about the violence going on in Chicago, the corrupt politics, or our youth going crazy, and many times, that makes you a little bummed about the current state of Chicago. I know it has definitely made me bummed living here for four years.  

But to get to see an awesome food pantry in Englewood (which is known as one of Chicago’s roughest neighborhoods) and meet some awesome people from the community; to get to see an amazing ministry in Humboldt Park and having the opportunity to work with them, to seeing the multiple ministries in Uptown; it reminds me that even though, these neighborhoods and the people’s living situations are not ideal, that there’s beauty in the midst of all of the violence and poverty, and man, it truly is beautiful. I’ve been reminded every weekend since October how God is moving in Chicago.

Another thing that has impacted me the most while being a city host are the groups that I’ve had. They were all great, and all had their different personalities, but at random times I was reminded of how God still has his hands over our youth. To see junior high students crying over how God touched them during the day, and it makes you want to cry just because you were lucky enough to see this. Or how a group of high school guys can actually be pretty fun and it gives you hope for the men of God they will become. Sometimes I just have to stop and remind myself that THIS is my job. What?!

Something I have been learning throughout this whole time is how to lean on God for EVERYTHING. I have a Bible verse on my wall for this time, it’s 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Paul, one of my favorite leaders in the Bible, said this, and I could just imagine him saying this all like, “Look, you can follow my example, but just so you know, i’m following Christ.” That just changed my whole view of being a leader and how much I need Christ. When I am feeling bummed, I pray for God to give me joy, when I honestly don’t feel like leading a group, I pray to God for strength, when i’m not sure if students are being touched God shows me that he is moving through them. It just reminds how small my strength is and how big his is, and the fact that I can lean on his strength is pretty darn cool. 

It reminds me how desperate I am in this desert land, thirsty for your mercy and plan while you give me the strength to stand. You’re my greatest pleasure, yeah, no matter the weather I face, Lord you never forsake, my fragile life is safe under your sovereign grace.

I just got reminded of one of my favorite songs by Beautiful Eulogy called “Anchor” that this quote is from. God has always been my anchor, but he has for sure been my anchor this season.

Now comes spring season. I’ve been asked to stay for spring season, which is pretty cool. I’ll have week long groups, which means I will be mostly busy with groups, but to be able to build better relationships with the groups, getting the chance work with kids, building more solid relationships with these ministry sites, and just seeing more of God’s beauty in Chicago makes it worth it, and I am excited to see him move.

Oh, and one last thing! We are looking for spring host! We’re looking for summer host as well, but spring is a current need right now. So, if you want a little taste of this beauty, and also get the chance to be my co-worker/roomie, then you should apply! You don’t even have to live in Chicago currently! Check out: http://www.csm.org/seasonal.php (CSM did not ask me to say this by the way.)

Dec 06

5 Ways to Rock a Beanie on Your Natural Hair this Winter →

Oct 05

Life as of recent

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Lauren (city director): Moses, smile!

*We all start laughing*

So, if you have been keeping in touch with me or following me on any social media platform, then you know that I have started a new job with Center for Student Missions (csm.org) as a city host. 

These lovely people?

They’re going to be my co-workers and roommates for the next couple of months. (Yes, i’m living with a guy. He’s in a totally separate room, but still, totally new experience.)

Anyways. The girl’s name is Sarah and the guy’s name is Moses. It’s so crazy how when we first met how many similarities we have to each other; sometimes between all 3 of us.

For instance, when I first met Sarah, I told her that I used to live in Bridgeport, then she told me how her and her family stayed around there and ate in Bridgeport often. That totally caught me by surprise, because not many first timers in Chicago find their selves in Bridgeport unless they’re going to a Sox game. Later on that night we met Moses. He told us how he’s from the south side of Chicago, so we asked from where and he said Bridgeport (crazy, right?). So being a Chicagoan (I guess after 4 years I can claim it), I asked him what street did he live on and turns out, his family lives about 2 blocks from me (very very crazy, right?). Talking more with Sarah and Moses we found more similarities between us and I said out loud how I felt like they (the city directors) planned this, but they didn’t know any of this stuff about us. Dear ol’ Sarah pointed to the obvious and said God knew what he was doing when he bought us together :) even though we’ve been living here for just a week, it has felt like much longer, so I can’t imagine how well I will know these crazy kids by the end of fall season. Can’t wait to see what God has in store for us as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Now my job. Well, i’m still training. Got one more week. So far so good, even though I think my brain has for sure slowed down since yesterday from the information overload. Most of the reason I am blogging is because with learning things and feeling things (i’m a feeler) and being an extrovert, I gotta let how i’m feeling out or my brain is just gonna be a hot mess. During training, they actually encouraged blogging, which was for sure an encouragement I needed. So what is a city host you maybe wondering. It’s a lot of things, but mostly youth groups and college groups can come to Center for Student Missions, and I as their city host will facilitate their experience while in Chicago. So I will take them on prayer tours taking them a bit around Chicago, telling them about it, and praying for different things. I will take them out to different global cuisines. This week already, I have had Afghan food (so so good by the way), Vietnamese food, Mediterranean food, Chinese food, and Mexican food. Awesome, right? And there’s more! I haven’t eaten out so much in my life haha. Then I will also take groups to different places they can serve and serve along with them.

Then this weekend, we got to serve with a youth group coming to CSM at Cornerstone Community Outreach, Two Lil’ Fishes, and Canaan Missionary Baptist Food Pantry. Just getting to go to the sites for the first time and seeing the faces for the first time and being able to bless these people and show them God’s love through serving, man :) the fact that this gets to be my job! Well, there’s actually a poster in our space that says “This is more than a 9-5 job, it’s a lifestyle.” I am quickly learning that is true.

So with this being such a big deal and me having to learn so much and me being passionate about this, I am remembering that I can be a perfectionist. When I typically write for iBelieve or even when I was in college, before I turned in something, I most likely looked over it like 6 times to make sure it was perfect. I was never the girl to just do it and turn it in (well, unless it was 3am, then I did haha). All that being said, my perfectionist is coming out during training, and to be honest, I am taking out not getting something down on myself. Well, really learning the map of Chicago, and learning my way around. The thing is, I have never even got us terribly lost. It’s just if I get one turn wrong or something, I would beat myself up about it internally. The directors have told us plenty of times how making mistakes at this time is okay. It wasn’t until, after like the third training or so, Moses asked Sarah and I what God has been teaching us so far, and I flat out told them how I have been getting down on myself and God is telling me not too. Moses kinda laughed and just said nonchalantly how it’s okay to make mistakes. I’ve heard that before, of course, but when he said it, I was just like, how could he have such freedom with that?! As of recent though, I have been clinging to Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  and just remembering that I can do this and even if I make a mistake, it’s okay! I will get it.

So yeah, I am already growing mentally and it’s just been a week. 

But yeah, when I think of my past couple of months and just how it was such a hard time to God bringing me to this point. To be honest, I didn’t think I would make it to this point. A point of happiness. Where I am truly happy with life right now. And the fact that I have grown in my relationship with God, and I get to have this sweet time with him of learning and growing and having so much fun. Ahh, I am sure that these next couple of months will be amazing. Now that my directors have suggested blogging as a way to escape, there will most likely be more post :)

Oh, and random, but I painted recently! If you know me, you know that painting is the visual art talent I wish I had. I have never really painted before since like grade school probably. Long story short, worship night, especially for artist, paint canvases, journals, sketch pads, me writing, then God telling me to paint, and boom. Now, the painting is not a Picasso, but I am proud of it, because I painted without inhibition. God gave me the freedom to paint, even though I am not great at it, and man, did it feel great. 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Man, is that true. Now, I just gotta remember that freedom I have.

*ADDITION* So just came across this verse and thought it was too perfect. It’s from Colassians 1:17 “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Yes, yes, and yes.

Sep 17

My Two Favorite Posts of the Past Two Weeks

I like doing my favorite finds on my blog. This is something I will definitely have to keep up. I promise I will give a life update soon; my life has just been crazy and I am currently in transition. Literally. For now though, here are my recent favorite online finds. They’re both blog post I have ran across these past two weeks.

One by a blogger named Osheta Moore who has talked about something I have struggled with growing up and just started coming to terms with when I got to college in Chicago (so about 4 years ago). One of my many favorite quotes from her post is this:

"On the days I don’t feel black enough, I remember a song we used to sing in church that Jesus is more than enough.  That his love satisfies the feeble places in my heart that lack confidence in my racial identity.  That I’m a Kingdom Woman and that trumps American, white, or even black.”

Tor read, “For The Days I Don’t Feel Black Enough”, click this link: http://oshetablogs.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/for-the-days-i-dont-feel-black-enough/

Second one is a post on Relevant Magazine online by pastor and author Michael Hidalgo. This post I just found today and has hit the nail on the head of all the craziness I have been through. This was a great reminder and encouragement that through the craziness, you are not alone and this is not in vain.

To read “Yes, God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle”, click this link: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/yes-god-will-give-you-more-you-can-handle

Aug 28

7 Natural Remedies For Painful Menstrual Period Cramps! - StyleByNap85 →

This one….well, it needs no explanation. We all need help around that time of the month, and my favorite vlogger Naptural85, gives us some tips on how to bear through the week.