Sunday, December 28, 2008

Summer time snow days

"I am lazy" these are the words that the tips of my fingers allowed to type over facebook chat to a dear friend of mine. Before I could mentally collect myself, and encompass the backspace key, my pinkie finger did the unthinkable and hit ENTER. My heart sank with the horrid thought of what he must think of me....there was an awkward long pause and then he chimed back "I love you Lauren". There was something so beautiful about that to me. I had a moment of 3:00 a.m. lack of sleep honesty, and my friend just took the opportunity to encourage me. He told me that night, that honesty is the most important thing. It isn't a lie, I am lazy. I just hate that I've let myself get that way. I have goals and I am passionate about many things...I just don't do anything about them. I am a walking contradiction: I hate snow, but love and regularly desire snow days. I have nothing else profound or deep to say, just processing things.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I am yours

Heartbeat quickens, palms grow sweaty, pupils dialate, my breath catches in my're in the room. I feel you, more than anything else I feel you. I felt you long before we ever met. I've waited for you. I've longed for you, I've cried for you. I smile....a deep real smile.

I write to the rythem of your soul
I dance to the tune of your drum
It's as if you not only know me,
but that you are me.

I blame you for all my shorcomings
I hate you only because you make me love you
I am weak at the knees
when you are near, I melt
You drive me crazy.

I long to fight with you
only in hopes of making up with you
You are my best friend
you are my worst enemy
You control me without tying
Who are you?
Who am I?
I know not who you are.
I only know I am yours.

Monday, December 22, 2008

These pieces of my soul

My name is Lauren Nicole Pyles, I am on a journey to find myself....this is what I've come up with.

Words are my muse, coffee inspires me to be stronger, and running sets me free.

I enjoy the act of painting, but abhor the outcome of my art.

Music is the key to my heart, but silence unlocks my soul.

I love to cry, but rarely ever do.

I want to adopt 12 children. (all teenagers)

Writing makes me transparent, bringing out things I never even knew I felt.

I have recently decided that I am very indecisive...I think

I am very deep, but lack the Passion to do great things.

I prefer vanilla pudding to chocolate.

My current greatest desire is to learn to play the guitar.

I have never been in love.

I am scared to death of the point that I don't even try.

I love rain, the feel of it falling on my face, the smell of it surrounding me, and the way that it makes everyday a better day.

I could listen to Kate voegele's "Hallelujah" all day, and never grow tired of it.

At the end of the day when my head hits the pillow, this is who I am. These are the pieces of my soul that make up who I am.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This pain that we often crave.

A deep mistake has been made in this day and age. Love has been romanticized. The rumor has been spread, the lie has been bought and the verdict is that love equals fun, easy, simplicity. I sit and wait for reality to come, for fatality to claim this lie, and for the truth to come in and sting like sand in an open wound. This thing, this human emotion we fantasize about and dream of and put our best face on for, is love. And love sits on a line between incomprehensible beauty, and a misunderstood loss of humanity, bringing one to the scary place of inhumanity. I only say "inhumane" because it goes against every selfish human desire. Love sells. It's commercials make it look fun, and exciting. There's a whole day, just for love. Everyone sends flowers and candy and that is somehow an adequate description of what love is. The candy is eaten the flowers die and at the end of the day has love really been communicated? In my opinion, love is pain. For some reason though, we crave this pain. Like a cutter craves the edge of the blade, lovers crave the sting of desire. They are desiring the very soul of another being, they fight each day for that soul, while all along knowing it will never be accomplished, for the only soul one owns is the one within there own body. This isn't meant to discourage, it's meant to encourage, to inspire, and to forewarn. Love isn't easy, it's hard and messy. Love isn't pretty, it's beautiful. Love is pain that you fear will go away.

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Declaration

"Who I am is a marathon away from who I want to be". I recently revealed this to God. His reply was merely "then run that marathon Lauren". I have so many hopes and dreams planted in my heart by the God of the entire universe. There is something so freakishly cool about that and at the very same time it scares me to death. I find myself failing on a daily basis, I find myself striving on a daily basis. I don't want a wishy-washy faith. I want passion! I desire to have such a fearless passionate love for my God....yet it's my fears that keep me falling. I fear that complacency has crept it's hand up into my very soul, and in an unfathomably slow manner, has ripped out every ounce of strength and real passion I ever had. I have sold my soul to the rantings of my own sinful mind. It's not God that I doubt, it's the fact that God would want to use me, that keeps me awake at night. I want to live a life of wreck less abandonment. I want to care enough about what God thinks that I don't care about what humans think. I want to love the unloved, believe in the weak, and cheer for the losing team. I want to smile when the rain comes pouring down on my head, because my God is sovereign and will soon supply the sunshine. And when the sun shines and I feel the warmth on my face I will look to the heavens in utter amazement at the God that I serve and at the forgiveness he gives.

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Confession

I think too often I let my fear of failure sufficate my abilities to succeed. I aire on the side of caution rather than passion.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Life is Real

I miss home. This doesn't happen often, actually I don't think it's ever happend. Ironically it's the simple things I miss. The green shag carpet, the dark pannel walls, the way it smells during the holidays, how it looks like 12 kids were raised there. I guess you could say I miss the innocence of home. In my room there was this hope chest in the corner that my grandpa made, I used to curl up in a blanket made by my grandma, sit on the hopechest and read a book while drinking a cup of my moms homemade hot cocoa. I too often complain about my sheltered childhood existance, when in reality I miss it. Don't get me wrong the long hair and skirts I will never go back to, what I miss is the wonder of thinking that people are good. Not knowing all the bad that happens, not just in the secular world but the christian world as well. I miss staying up late and talking to my sisters, about whatever new guy they liked. I don't know what exactly it is that's causing all these female emotions, but I kind of like it. It humanizes me in a way. Sometimes I just need to feel alive again. I've spent too much time forcing myself to be emotionless, not allowing myself to cry at movies, not allowing myself to feel pain, Henrey Longfellow once said "Life is real, life is earnest, and the grave is not it's goal." Life is real...that's all I got for today.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Authentic Mediocrity

We need to be real. The world can see through the crap of our fake existence. Someone once said "find out who you are; and do it on purpose". If we as the church do not stand up and own our transgressions, admit to our wrongs, apologize for our judgment, than we the church will fall to the hypocrisy of our own lips. We need to remember that the hands that praise our God are the very same hands that nailed him to that cross. BE REAL! The throat of the church bleeds from silenced screams and unspoken prayers. The heart that doesn't love is the heart that doesn't beat; the church is dying because the church doesn’t love. Leonard Ravenhill once said "it's not the empty pews we need to worry about in the church; it's the empty people in the pews". When did I trade my soul for complacency? Since when is Love an option? Love God, love others. Why have we traded authenticity for mediocrity?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

For the Love of God

For the love of God, can we love God? Sometimes I feel like we spend to much time being Christians and forget about being worshipers. We spend so much time fighting legalism, that it becomes legalistic. Please, please, please, please, just love God! That's all I have...because that's all God wants. (In your love for God, you will desire to seek his very heart and you will in turn love others...thus fulfilling the greatest commandments.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

The presence of God

Today we had an incredible chaple service. I stayed and prayed for close to an hour afterwords. The presence of God was so strong in that place. I had chills running from my neck all the way down my spine. God was so real in that moment. I sat there telling him how awsome he is, I told him that I would love him forever. I felt covered in grace, love, and hope, I felt the creator of the world tell me that he would never forsake me, that he would never leave me. I felt safe, until I went outside.

The chill I now felt could alone be blamed on the winter wind. It was as if all the grace, hope and safety I had soaked in a moment earlier, was now gone. Clouds rolled in from the eastern sky, and poured a darknes over the campus. I didn't feel God. The aknowlagement of this fact sent a bitter chill down my spine. I felt alone. I wanted to run back to the chapel. I wanted to stay in the safety of His house. Then God spoke to me in the dead silence of my spirit, He told me this happens every day. He told me I had just never been aware of it. He told me every day I leave Him in the chapel, everyday I walk away from the love and grace and safety, and it's my choice wether I take him with me. I had been abandoning God. I had been rejecting the creator of the universe. I would take him to chapel with me, because that's where he belongs, but everything else I would handle on my own. I was hurting God.

I'm determined to change, to carry the presence of God with me wherever I go. Not just church or the chapel, where it's acceptable. I love God, He loves me, we will be together forever, and I will bask in his presence every day, wherever I go, whatever I'm doing. And I hope you'll do the same.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Finding myself in the Absence of sleep

I can't sleep. There is something about the lack of sleep that makes me face the fact that I am a mortal being. As I watch the hands of time slowly make their way around the tired face of the clock, and into the a.m. hours, I begin to evaluate who I am, and where I am headed. It's in the absence of sleep, that I truly find myself. Seeing how I haven't slept in a while now...I've had lots of time to think. I can't say I've found anything great...which makes me sad. This year I turned 20. Such a strange feeling, it's as if I'm reaching for my future excitedly with one hand, and in the other I am clinging to my forgotten youth so tightly that my knuckles are turning white. I wish I could say that the excitement of growing up shadows the fear of getting old, but it doesn't. I am rarely this transparent...but I can't sleep, and It's in the absence of sleep that I'm truly myself.

Musical Babyfood

I was standing there staring down at the chair before me, I realized then that this was the lowest moment of my life. You see we were playing a game called "musical Baby food" where you run around the chairs and when the music stops you have to take a bite of the food before you. Our youth group was pretty small, so it didn't take long for us to get down to the final two. There we stood, whoever won this would have to finish all the baby food from the previous rounds, and would be the winner. The music started and we began to run around a single chair that held 9 half eaten jars of baby food. The monotony of the music was getting to me, causing me to lose focus, and then it stopped. There I was standing directly in front of the chair.

I knew what I had to do. I dug in. I began eating I started with carrots, moved quickly to peas and then "it" happened, I came face to face with the spinach. I stared down at that green Gerber goodness, and thought to myself "what the crap am I doing"? This is terrible, and then I looked around. All my peers were gathered in a circle chanting my name. I did it, I did it for them. I wanted to be there hero, I wanted to make them happy. So I finished off the baby food.

The irony of this story is that nobody remembers it. The next week nobody was patting me on the back, cheering me on. It was as if nothing ever happened. So many times in high school we settle, to please the people around us. And they never remember it. Now the baby food wasn't that big of a deal, but premarital sex is, drugs are, stealing, drinking, cheating, stupidity, all these things cause pain, yet the people we do it to please are unaffected. We have to show the youth of today how to think for themselves. To put the spoon down and walk away, STOP EATING BABY FOOD.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Life, Love, and Rhubarb Pie

I just finished reading Blue Like Jazz...for the third time. The book instills such a passion in me to be a better person. Ironically the book is nothing about being a good person. It's about life. In the authors notes he state's "Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself, it's as if they are showing you the way."

When I was in high school I had a phase of rebellion like most kids, I would lie to my mom about what time I went and came home from work. Thus giving myself time to get away from the stress of family. The only problem was that I was a home schooled pastor's daughter, who worked in the afternoons, there wasn't much trouble to get into. One day I was driving around, and I saw Marry Cheek, one of the widows from our church, her husband had died earlier that year, and she was in pretty bad health herself. She was trying to walk to the mailbox when I stopped at her house to say hello. She was very frail and much too weak to be getting out on her own. So I got her mail for her, we went inside and talked until I had to be home from work.

This eventually became a routine, I would go to her house, she would tell me all about the great depression, using the rubber of a bicycle tire as the elastic in underwhare. She would always go on rants about how her great grand kids were so spoiled by indoor plumbing. I loved her. She would make me chocolate milk and she always had a fresh rhubarb pie. Every time I came over a rhubarb pie was there, now, I didn't really like that particular type of pie...mostly cause I still don't have a clue what it is. One time Marry asked why I never ate the pie, I sheepishly admitted that I didn't like it. To my surprise she laughed and said "me neither". I was shocked, whenever I was over there was always a half eaten pie, I just assumed it was her favorite. When I asked Marry why she ALWAYS made them, she got a distant smile on her face, and said "that was Melvin's favorite pie". She said "every time I eat a peace I think of him. I used to hate the taste, the smell, I hardly ever made them for him, sometimes he would even make them himself, not any more" she said. "Rhubarb pie is my favorite pie now, every time I smell it, see it, or taste it, I think of my Melvin's smile. Loren dear, someday you'll understand, someday you will love something only because you watched someone else love it."

I'll never forget the next visit to Marry Cheeks house, she made me chocolate milk, and then I asked her for a piece of Rhubarb pie. She smiled and got us each a slice. And thus began the routine for our visits, chocolate milk, Rhubarb pie, and lots of memories. Marry loves Rhubarb pie because of Melvin, I love Rhubarb pie because of Marry. Now I'm not asking you to go out and try Rhubarb pie, I'm asking you to love Jesus so much that other people love him too.

If you do choose to go the extra mile and try Rhubarb pie, I know a little place on 17th maple street in Buffalo, Mo. Marry may be in her 90's, but she still makes the best Rhubarb pie ever!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Believe I can Fly

When I was a little girl I totally believed I could fly. This is serious. I would jump off of the furniture and flail my arms in the air as fast as I could, I was convinced that I could defy gravity. (Rebellion really is a way of life for me) My parents, siblings and friends all thought I was crazy, and told me so often. though my 5 year old heart never listened to them, eventually trying to fly day after day, got really painful. You see, I wouldn't just jump off the couch and land on my sir, not me, I'm too devoted to the cause. I would jump off the couch and land face first on the floor. (I know, really dumb). The beauty of it is, I never stopped believing I can fly.

I know what your thinking you cynics, and yes I still believe I can fly. There is this part of me that never lost my childish hopes. I convinced myself for a time that flying is impossible, and then one day I was babysitting this 6 year old boy, and he began to get on the couch and jump off flapping his arms as fast as he could. I asked him "Matthew, what are you doing" and then before Matthew could speak his 9 year old sister chimed in "oh Matthew is an idiot, he thinks he can fly". I will never forget that moment in a split second I remembered all the bruises, all the jumps, all my family calling me crazy, all the excitement, all the faith. And before I could stop myself, I got up on that couch next to Matthew, I held his hand and I said "are you ready to fly?"

Jumping off the couch with Matthew that day woke me up. Did we fly? No. Did one or both of us get hurt? Yes. Have I ever been asked to babysit for them again? No. (I guess stories of a 19 year old jumping off your couch can worry some parents) Did I regain a childlike wreckless abandonment that I had lost? Yes. Will I ever be the same again? No.

I know what your thinking, you think I'm crazy. But isn't believing that you can fly, the same thing as believing that a long time ago a virgin had a baby, and that baby was the creator of the universe, and he came to save the world? Come on...I'm not asking you to jump off the couch, I'm asking you to get off the couch. Stop being so lazy, do something BIG for God. You know what? Your going to fall on your face...I garuntee it. It doesn't matter how much you fall, it matters how much you get up.

(I know you want to try it, go ahead, when nobody is looking, jump off the sofa)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

City of the Blind

Once I read this story called city of the blind. It was a fascinating story about a city with only blind people in it, none of them had ever even heard of sight. One day a man who has sight stumbles upon this city, and is amazed at all that they accomplish together, everything is done with a teamwork attitude. And then the man with sight sees the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Well the story is really sappy and they end up falling in love, and all that junk. But that's not the peek of the story, the peek of the story is when they decide to get married, the city people are furious. They think the seeing man is crazy because of all of his stories of sight. They think that even the idea of sight is absurd. But the girl loves his stories and dreams of one day seeing. The elders of the city decide to let the man live in the city and work with them, to give them more time to decide whether or not they will let him marry one of their own. Once they began to work it was clear to the elders that the man is crazy. You see the city of the blind do all their work at night when it's dark, so the cool air can come upon them as they work, and they sleep in the daytime so the sun will keep them warm as they sleep. as they work they have no lights, for the obvious reason that they're blind, and therefore don't need light. The man just cant' work the same way that they can. After much consideration, the elders of the city decide that they will let the young lovers get married, IF the man will gouge out his eyes. The man is so in love with this girl, but half of his love for her rests in how beautiful she is. And the young girl is merely in love with the thought of sight. The man decides to go for it, he decides to let the city men gouge out his eyes. A few hours before it's time to have the procedure, the man tells his love that he is going to go for a walk, to look at the country side one last time. And the man is never seen again. The man decided to keep his sight, and just never forget how beautiful she was, and the girl decided to always believe his stories of sight, and to know wherever he was that he was seeing her in his dreams.

One might ask what the moral of this story is, My perception is that sometimes walking away from love with nothing but the memory is the right thing to do.

The Smell of Ecstasy

It happened in a moment of unawareness, without foreknowledge or remorse. It lasted merely a moment, but the memory still invades my mind. You see, I changed, the second the tip of my nose brushed across the downy soft head of the screaming infant in my arms, I knew I would never be the same again. It was "that" smell. This smell I speak of is one some will spend a lifetime trying to scrub free from their homes, and it's the same smell others spend a lifetime crying for it's lack of invasion in their lives. This is the smell of joy, pain, hope, newborn family, or possibly the reminder of one's loss of innocence. It's the smell of ecstasy, the smell of humanity in its greatest form; it's the smell of a baby.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Going to Church vs. Going to Hell

I have this problem with the church, or maybe it's the people of the church. I don't know, either way I'm ticked. Today I was sitting in church and my friend I was sitting with leaned over during worship and said " I love North Point"! I had to agree with her, you see, I too love North Point, it's the coolest church I have ever been to. But what about God? I have this fear, that is that people are falling in love with church. Church is great, it's vital to survival as a christian, but my fear is that people are putting their salvation in the "church" as in the people within it and sometimes even the building itself. The problem here is that we (the people in the church) are humans. I know this comes as a surprise to some people, but we are, ergo we will make mistakes.

When these mistakes are made, unfortunately people get hurt. And they feel like the "church" hurt them, rather than simply a fellow believer. And then "it" happens...bitterness, it's one of Satan's greatest tools, and it lurks in the corners of just about every American church. It's gross and messy, and sinful, and Christians are the most guilty of this activity. Then when things are already bad, the bitter person takes a right turn into the downward slope of sin. It all ties back to the fact that their salvation was in the church, rather than in God. Bitterness will destroy you, it will haunt you like a ghost, it will destroy your life. God is the only perfect person, everyone else will fail, you. Sometimes the church doesn't communicate...and that's my problem with the church for today.

Friday, October 24, 2008

2 pounds 13 ounces

6:54 a.m. Wednesday morning, Rachel Worley gave birth to a baby boy. She and her husband named him Micah Cole. Micah Cole is a very special baby boy, he was born 10 weeks early therefore causing him to be extremely premature. Micah only weighs 2 pounds 13 ounces. I got the privilege of seeing Micah this last week, and I feel as if I witnessed a miracle right before my eyes. From my side of the incubator where he lay, I could see him moving and reaching at the tubes that were ever surrounding him, the nurse told me I could reach my hand through and touch him if I wanted, as long as I didn't caress him, his skin is too sensitive and wouldn't hold. As I lay my finger on that little baby's stomach, I knew that he would some day change the world. Micah Cole may only weigh a few pounds right now, but that won't last forever. I relayed to a friend of mine that Micah would change the world, and he asked me how I knew, I merely replied "because it only took a split second for him to change MY world". That day with Micah is only the beginning for me, because you see, Rachel Worley is my sister, and Micah Cole is my nephew; my 2 pound, 13 ounce, world changing nephew. And every day that he fights to grow and develope, is a day that I watch in awe of who he is and who he will be.