Find a Lauren
Lauren is one of my dearest friends. We met eleven years ago this month at Harding University and have been close ever since. With a baby on the way, I decided I better take advantage my rare week off of teaching fitness classes and travel to Tennessee while I still felt like flying. To say I’m thankful for the time together would be a complete understatement.
Before going any further, let me say this: if you don’t have a Lauren in your life, find one. For those of you who know Lauren you know exactly what I mean. Lauren loves God. She is teaching her children at a young age about Jesus as she goes about her daily routine. She loves people. Whether we are waiting in line at Starbucks, at the checkout at the grocery store, or at church, Lauren talks to everyone. She treats every person as if they are long, lost friends. She is light-hearted yet serious about what is important. She takes an interest in others. And on top of all this she is just really fun to be around!
Find a Lauren.
Anyway, my mind often thinks in blogs, like how what I am experiencing right now can be applied to life and shared with others. Lauren inadvertently reminded me many things but here are the highlights that I hope you can apply to your life as well:
- Invest in at least one or two close friends you can be completely transparent with. Most of the friends I deeply trust are spread across the country. Investing in relationships takes time and effort. But these are the friends who will think for you when you cannot think for yourself and who will celebrate your victories like no other can because they know your complete story.
- Surround yourself with people you want to be like. Have you noticed how you start talking and acting like the people you are with the most? Or how your standards tend to match the friends you invest the most time with? Who we spend time with matters. Choose wisely.
- Cherish the past but don’t live there. This truth tends to frequent the lessons I’ve learned. We all have a propensity towards seeing parts of our past with rose-tented glasses. Remembering our favorite times in life is important, yes. But living there, wishing today would be like high school, college, when you first got married, when the kids were little or you fill in the blank, is unwise. Live today.
- Give thanks for the challenging times because they helped shape who you are today. For many people college is filled with wonderful memories as well as tough ones to recall. This is a time where people are finding out who they are, and this can be a messy process. I can vividly remember conversations or choices that given the opportunity I would act or speak differently. However, I continue to be reminded that these choices ultimately resulted in blessings because they helped grow my faith and lead me to where I am today. I guess this is what God means when he says he “works all things for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Does this mean easy? No. Does “good” always mean how I would script a situation? No. “Good” is defined by God, and I can rest in that.
- Learn from children. Lauren’s oldest, Allie, is three years old. Carrie Underwood’s song “Something in the Water” was mentioned during a conversation. I made a comment about how Allie was probably too young to know the song’s meaning. I quickly retracted that statement as she proceeded to tell me the song was about baptism. Wow. She is three! This truth is absolutely important for all of us who are ever around children. What we do and say is impacting kids and shaping who they will become. Speak and act with wisdom.
- Know your friends’ family. This was especially important when I lived twelve hours away from my own family. You can better understand your friends and appreciate them even more by knowing their family. And having people treat you as family and invite you into their home as one of their own is pretty special.
These reminders are pretty simple. Take time every day to be aware of what God is teaching you. There are lessons all around us, we just have to find them. And if you need a little help, find a Lauren.