should i stay or should i grow?

Fall in love with the process of becoming the very best version of yourself.

I don’t like the phrase ‘bettering yourself’. I find it just a polite way to say you are changing yourself to make others happy.

When you set out to better yourself or “become the best version of yourself” there is no end. Being better or the best is subjective. Everyone has a different view of what it looks like, so there is no standard to strive for – it is essentially unachievable. In the end, you will measure your achievement by how people respond to the changes you have made making it about them.

My husband and I had a disagreement earlier about how I respond to our disagreements. We argue, apologize, forgive, but I stay quiet. He asks me what’s wrong and I say I’m fine in order to gain some time to think. He then pushes me to admit that I’m not fine and talk about it. It bothers him that I say I’m fine when I’m not and it bothers me that he pushes me to talk when he knows “I’m fine” means I’m not and I need time to think.

It became this whole big thing, but the truth is that saying “I’m fine” is just a defense mechanism. It is something that I do – that I have always done – to buy some time to stew and think. This behavior is part of who I am and I don’t feel like I need to change it – especially because it is obvious and well-known in our house what “I’m fine” really means.

He believes that two people in a committed relationship should constantly be listening to each other and bettering themselves because they love the other. But to me that means that one suggests a way to make the other better and the other should do it to make the other happy. It didn’t sit well with me. I feel like it is absolutely ok for one to point out opportunities for growth, but that there should be no expectation for the other to change.

Some days I barely have the energy to get out of bed and feed myself, so I find the notion of constant betterment absolutely exhausting. The way I see it, you can water the plant, but the plant gets to decide if they want to grow or if they are happy the way they are. And I for one am happy the way I am!

two years, four months, and thirteen days

…that’s how long it has been since I have posted in this space. Way too long, in my opinion.

I created this blog way back when (a little over five years ago) to have a space for myself to just get everything – and I mean everything! – out. A place where I could just let my fingers fly over the keyboard as tears fell from my eyes as I relived and rehashed the events of my life. What I thought, felt, believed, wanted, needed. A place where I could confess, question, and dream. And Lord knows I did all of that.

I have left this space time and time again for different reasons. People making me believe this blog was a negative thing. Me wanting to prove to myself that I didn’t need it. Me showing the world that by not writing on here I had my life together. Me creating new spaces hoping I can be a different, better person in them.

But the truth is, I do need this blog. It has just become a place where I feel safe and unapologetically me… and I need those things! And you know what, there is nothing wrong with that. If you find yourself having a problem with me or what I have to say, please feel free to exercise your right to free speech in the comment section or make your way to the ‘x’ at the top of your screen. Whatever you choose, I honestly don’t care.

hello twenty-eighteen

I love the beginning of the new year, but I’m not big on resolutions. A resolution is a decision that was made to keep. It’s this mentality that makes them so frustrating when I slip or can’t keep up with the decision that I made. So this year, I decided to write some goals I want to work toward throughout the year.

I feel like goals represent growth which is exactly how I want to go into the new year. Reflect on the events and choices of the previous year and see what I can change this new year. My intention with creating goals was to not feel like I had to wake up on January 1st a whole new person, because – let’s face it – that is not going to happen, but instead have positive changes to work at little by little.

For this year, I have six goals that I am going to focus on. I have very specific personal reasons for choosing each goal that I’ll share throughout the year.

My six goals are:
1: Exercise Daily
2: Journal Weekly
3: Read More
4: Save Money, Budget Better
5: Weekly Family Devotionals
6: Make Every Day Count

So here’s to making 2018 a year to be happy about and proud to remember!

| Lauren Grey

if it looks too good to be true

Dear Young Female Millennial Christian Instagrammer,

I used to know you a long time ago and just recently came across your Instagram feed. Your pictures are beautiful and caught my attention immediately, so I scrolled through them in awe of the life you portray. You have built this picture of a [seemingly] perfect life and I have to ask myself how much of it is true? I wonder how long it took you to stage each picture exactly right and how many pictures were deleted before finding the perfect one to post. I became very interested in the reality of your world, so I began to read some of the captions and what I found really made me think.

I can’t help but become curious as to how you live this perfectly instagrammable lifestyle. Per one of your posts, I learned that you don’t work and your husband works part-time [at home!], yet you own a home, afford a baby, and boast about having no debt [except for said house].

This got me thinking about my own life – the one that my husband and I work very hard for. We both work full-time jobs to afford our modest lifestyle, so I just can’t imagine how you are able to afford yours on just a part-time job. I created a list about what all you would have to pay for; I figured if you don’t have student loans and drive old cars, then the following would be the basic bills you most likely would have to pay for:

  • Mortgage/Rent
  • Utilities
  • Energy
  • Wifi/Internet
  • Phone Bill
  • Car Insurance

All of those would easily add up to a part-time paycheck, maybe even two. Your husband must make a ton of money working this part-time job. But then I got to thinking, what about health and dental insurance? You would have to pay all of that out-of-pocket, because most part-time workers don’t get insurance. Then I read about all the stuff you did to fix up your house… it just makes my mind go wild thinking that this kind of life is out there.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind working and I can’t imagine not helping out my family while I have the time, but I just want to know what part-time job pays for a family of three to live comfortably with little debt? I would also love to see the real side of your family one day. Maybe do a post on struggle or working hard or about long, sleepless nights due to your newborn. I would admire you so much more if your entire life didn’t look staged.

I hope you tell your secret one day and give us a glimpse into your real world!

Sincerely,

Lauren Grey

winter bucket list

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.
-John Steinbeck

Experiencing winter can be a tough thing to do when you live in Texas. The weather doesn’t get very cold and we rarely see any snow, so enjoying holiday festivities takes a lot of mental energy. Every year I get my hopes up that this winter is going to be the winter I actually have some fun, but the reality always falls short. I’ve been inspired by a fellow blogger to create a list of things to accomplish this season to learn to have fun again.

So here is my list of things to do this winter:

  1. Go Ice Skating
  2. Build a Gingerbread Village
  3. Create a Sugar Cube House
  4. Look at Christmas Lights
  5. Bake and Decorate Christmas Cookies
  6. Take a Picture in Front of a Christmas Tree
  7. Sip Hot Chocolate on a Cold Night
  8. Knit a Scarf
  9. [Hopefully] Experience Snow
  10. Watch a Christmas Movie in a Vintage Theater
  11. Visit the Christmas Capital of Texas
  12. Read 5 Books

Let the winter festivities begin!