Bachelor Ben- Our Top 5 Picks

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year– The Bachelor is back! That means our Monday night’s will go back to yummy dinners, a cold glass of Moscato, great friends, and 2 hours of addicting television!

If last night’s premier is anything like the rest of the season, I think we can expect a lot of drama from the ladies this season. However, at the end of the day we truly hope Ben finds the one. With that being said, here are our picks for Ben’s top 5 ladies (in no particular order):

  1. Olivia (duh!)
    person-person_87a6e4eb-268c-42e9-b868-2778023442b5_1969x787_source-1000x400-Q90_1450124489488We had to put Olivia in our Top 5, she did get the first impression rose after all! Plus, this News Anchor from Austin, TX immediately stood out to us.. and Ben! We are very interested to see how this relationship turns out, some of the previews show there might be rocky waters ahead.
  2. Jennifer
    person-person_c0a1ba0b-66f5-42ef-b013-f28803a3f9e5_1969x787_source-1000x400-Q90_1450126499736We just love this Small Business Owner from Florida! Ben and Jennifer seemed to have a really great conversation. No crazy hats, no fancy tricks, just a very natural and normal introduction. The two both seem to be very down to earth so we expect to see sparks flying soon!
  3. Samantha
    person-person_ec77479e-b85b-4c47-9d5d-5d4eab54f1d1_1982x791_source-1000x400-Q90_1450126313620We immediately fell in love with Samantha during her opening package. This recent law school grad shared her story of her father’s battle with ALS and the pain she suffered from losing him at an early age. Her genuine spirit makes us all want to root for her. If she doesn’t find love on this season, we may be looking at the next Bachelorette!
  4. Becca
    person-person_87e0c64b-219b-4cc0-b5b7-ee7049847b5b_1964x782_source-1000x400-Q90_1450125109278Becca is back! We saw Chris fall in love with her so it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if Ben holds on to her for a long time too. She seems like such a genuine person, which is a quality that is probably close to the top on Ben’s list.
  5. Lauren B.
    person-person_c5e87432-ad10-4806-ba0e-5eeed08607bd_1978x791_source-1000x400-Q90_1450125447853Lauren B. was the first girl to step out of the limo last night but we are pretty sure she won’t be getting back in that limo any time soon. There was a very natural connection between the two and it seemed like Ben was very interested to learn more!

It was pretty hard for us to narrow it down to just 5 girls, so we have a few floaters that we thought were worth mentioning: Amanda, Caila, and LB.

So let us know who YOU think will make it into the top 5! We can’t wait to see how this season unfolds.

Tailored Made

This past Sunday when I arrived to work I was welcomed with freshly baked “thank you” brownies at the door from an 11 yr old covered in batter, a kitchen dance party of pre- teens hitting the “quan,” sick and overworked staff in the living room, and down the hall was the sweetest of metaphors from my little 7 year old anxiously waiting my afternoon arrival to share what she learned at church.

“It’s beginning to get colder Miss Sarah which means you have to dress warmer these days. The bible says we need to dress ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and love. Especially love, its the very most important”

She’s right yall. The leaves are falling and so are the temps. Cold fronts are closing in but that’s no reason to let our hearts do the same. Holiday season is on deck. Ready and waiting. As you’re pulling out your fall sweaters and winter coats don’t forget the ultimate invitation to “suite up” this season and every season.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience and over all of these things put on love which binds these things together” – Colossians 3:12

To wear compassion – to supply beyond the need. To chase the hard-hearted. To act on empathy. To put down your phone, to pick up your Cross. To be present.
To wear Kindness – to see the good deep down, to make no assumptions. To wear joy abundantly. To offer grace over and over again. To include, to invite, to notice the outsider and the far-out. To love just because.
To wear Humility – To bend low and bow often. To be small and ever-thankful. To credit the Glory where its due and let your name fade. To always point Up.
To wear Gentleness – To listen a long while, to stay slow to speak. To practice tenderness. To comfort and come close and let in.
To wear patience – to trust in the follow through of His promises. To move slow when He says so. To wait while He creates. To never see slowness as inactivity. To sit at His feet. To be still and know.
To bind with Love – to hand out hugs, authentic how are you’s, and second chances. To layer up and always wear Love – the stretched out, over extended, spread wide kind that holds everything together.

A Four Year Finish

Spring of 2015 showed up sooner than expected and May 15th was the day I kept wishing for all semester to take its sweet time. Now it is June and while things are different and new, I still feel quite similar as I did when I embarked on my four year adventure. Crazy how a four year finish can change you during the longest haul but leave you feeling your same old self at the end. Because aside from a flipped tassel and thousands of flipped pages I am still me. Just a better, brighter, truer version of me. Less- baby-faced, less tethered, less hesitant me. One with 22 candles with eyes looking bravely at what is coming my way and hands palms-up waiting and expectant to receive what is next. Like a whole year off!!!!!!!! Like the unknowns of upcoming grad school applications, like this new “big girl” job of serving and loving on foster children who aren’t sure of what love really feels like, or trying long distance friendships on for size, or nurturing an income from scratch.

But still I’m me. Still a kid at heart and height. Still sporting bright colored mismatched socks and the highest of ponytails. Still scribbling out pro-con lists. Still using my hand as my favorite recycled post-it note to etch down reminders. Still love being under the sunshine. Still convinced my mom is the only person who reads this thing. Still and always thankful for numerical and alphabetical street signs so I don’t stay lost for long. Still, I prefer college football field-side but know watching from up high will be just as fun too. Still continuing my Monday night membership of dinner, wine, and reality tv with the girls, and STILL never knowing what we want to eat that night. Still fighting the tendency to appear that I have it all together and planned out. Still letting out heavy sighs and soft smiles when His grace intervenes with perfect timing. Still me. Despite a four year season of all things new, unpredictable, exciting, chaotic. All things excellent and absurd. 

thank God for the excellent absurdity which enables us, if it so happen, to play great parts without pride & little ones without dejection, rejecting nothing through that false modesty which is only another form of pride, and never, when we occupy for a moment the centre of the stage, forgetting that the play would have gone off just as well without us“. | CS Lewis

If I sit still long enough to press pause and rewind the film I can’t help but notice that even with changed addresses, faces, settings, feelings, career plans, back up plans, and priorities not once did my Playwright step out of scene. Steadfast He stood, watching His craft worry and muddy herself and stumble through missed lines and miscues, crave bigger parts and louder applause, and sometimes forget whose show this really was. Forget that this whole production would have gone off just as well with out her. Playing back and participating in almost every part. Scenes of off-stage, backstage, and center stage. Scenes of solitude and whiny monologues. Scenes of big audiences and loud cheers and those of dim spot light lighting, and curtain pulling. Scenes spent as supporting cast polishing others for their big roles. Steadfast He stood. Through every misread, every hesitation, every hint of anxiety and doubt. All the while being way proud as He added, altered, erased, and perfected her.  

I have learned way more than what my transcript or inked up notebooks could tell you. I’ve learned just as much inside the classroom as out. I’ve learned about others and and I’ve learned about me. Oh the things these past four year have taught me. I have learned: Little ol’ Lubbock isn’t a little small boring town, even though my “con-side” of the college decision making list would have previously said so. Never put on lipgloss if your hair is down and Lubbock wind is blowing. Getting ready and dressed from head to toe for a football game on a moving bus is in fact possible. Ski Trips are way fun minus the actual skiing part. Nothing compares to West Texas sunsets. It’s probably best to limit oneself to a two drink max at Chimy’s. Defensive linemen who are three times my size are way more friendly than scary, and funny too. Being a student, twirler, and part-time employee has perfected my pack-an-extra-pair-of-clothes, take meals-on-the-go from amateur to professional. I’ve learned to be at peace with the fact that I will never know who A is on Pretty Little Liars. Putting my phone on airplane mode for 30 minutes to “unplug” has become the most rewarding part of each day. I have learned to invest, relate, and seek out intentional relationships with others from down the street, out of state, and around the globe, because a mere service project or a poorly thought out social media post will not suffice to make a true change. When my heart is stubborn, unreceptive, thankless He still sends surprises my way because I am no exception to His sweet grace. Grow up only in the good ways. When you mess up, own up. When everyone else is doing the same, its okay to just do you. Future Red Raiders pay close attention to this last bit of knowldge… Ready?… If you park at the Football training lot TTU parking services wont ticket you because they don’t check. Shhhhhh!!!!! Oh, one last thing, telling yourself you won’t be friends with the older girl who has the same nike shoes and practice clothes fearing she’ll think you’re trying to copy/be her is the biggest lie. Not to spoil anything but you might end up being best pals and may write a blog together. 

So cheers to the past four years and the One who wrote all reality and remembers it more clearly than I do. Who never stopped watching, polishing, and applauding. What an adventure it has been! I wasn’t needed but You thought it would be way more fun to include me and You were first to high five me after I crossed the final stage of my four finish. Now as post grad I am training to work with foster children and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I am still able to tutor Tech athletes. I’m currently helping two freshmen prepare and embark on their four year adventure and I can’t to watch in the audience and see how it all plays out.