mirrors aren’t the only things…

as you can see, it’s been a while.

ive tried to figure out for so long why keeping up with this is so difficult for me, and in the past 8 months or so since my last post I feel like I may have a lead.  I think I just really don’t like to deal with myself.

Lauren is messy and complicated and overemotional.  She struggles with insecurities and issues from her childhood and finding the woman God created amidst the mess of being human. She’s learning, and failing, and sometime succeeding.

A lot of the time, I don’t much like Lauren. and I’d rather not have to really spend time with her.

I think the reason I don’t blog as much as I should is because blogging causes me to s.l.o.w. d.o.w.n. and think about what’s happening in my heart and mind, what my relationship with God looks like. When I face myself I have to face the mess i’ve made by not looking much like Jesus. I don’t like seeing something that isn’t so great.

I came across this today and it made a lot of sense with this whole idea

I am underreflective. And I think it has sort of begun to infect the person that I am deep down.

With Justin away at staff retreat this week, I took a little bit of time to sort of retreat myself, just in my house.  I read blogs, and I sketched. I worked out and listened to good music. I took time to just be me, to hang out with Lauren and take care of her a little bit.  I saw things that I didn’t like as usual, but it felt refreshing to just be still for a while.  I’ve realized how much I need time for myself, as much as I would rather be social and busy and productive and successful, all of that is so tainted when I just don’t feel comfortable in my own skin.

so here I am, blogging again. And dealing with myself. and trying to clean up the mess i’ve made and trying to love myself a little bit more. I don’t want to always be overwhelmed and too busy to reflect.

will you join me?

love,

Lauren Ashley

I love Cincinnati

My church in Cincinnati, last summer did this awesome series called “I love Cincinnati”.  Looking back through some of their videos today, I found this one they played as part of the series.

I spent a lot of my time in the queen city really not feeling content with where I was.  If anyone asked me, my usual response was that I was ready to get out, I hated the city and I wanted to go elsewhere.  It wasn’t until my last semester there that I finally began to fall in love with that quaint little ohio river city.  I was finally able to change my attitude and view things more positively, and now that Im in Vegas, a part of my heart really really misses Cincinnati.  Please watch this video, and maybe catch a glimpse of this sweet place I love.

Here’s the link: http://crossroads.net/downloads/playVideo/idMedia/898

Love,

Lauren Ashley

so nice to see you again

I haven’t posted in forever, but I think I have good reason.  Here’s a recap of my last month or so:

Finish 20 page research paper and finals for my last semester of college
Say Farewell to Cincinnati friends and pack up life into my little accord
drive 14 hours to Dallas
Unpack car and see old friends
Christmas with family
Drive 4 hours to Houston to see boyfriend’s family
Drive back to Dallas, only to wake up SUPER early and…
Drive 12 hours to Colorado for Christmas
Christmas with family in Colorado
Drive back home to Dallas
Coffee Dates and photoshoots with best friends, lots of packing, and wonderful dates with the boyfriend 🙂
Drive 22 Hours to Las Vegas
Start New job in Las Vegas.

I am just now getting a chance to catch my breath.  Everything has gone by so fast, I feel like I surely have missed something.  I struggle when I don’t feel in control, and so much transition has made me feel just like that, but i’m sure God has brought me through this month for just that reason.  Were I to have not gone through such a transition so fast, maybe I would have been more afraid, or more hesitant to just jump into what he had set out before me.

I miss Cincinnati already, but I am truly excited about my semester in Las Vegas.  Im looking forward to meeting so many new people and hearing their stories, and excited to stretch my creative legs and be pushed in new ways.  Im excited to discover exactly what it is I want to do with the rest of my life, at least start to discover it anyway.  Everyone has already been so welcoming, and I already sorta feel a sense of belonging, which is very much what I prayed for.  Praise Jesus!

I have had so many people supporting me in this transition, and for all of you I am so very grateful.

Now that my schedule has settled down for a bit, I’ll hopefully be posting some new photos in the near future- the sunsets here are incredible!!

SO much love to you all

Love,

Lauren Ashley

Sarah and Chris

I did my first set of engagement photos this afternoon, and let me tell you I could not have picked a more fun couple to work with.  These two were hilarious, and they took some super fun photos.  Im so excited for the both of them to be married and have the funnest life together.  Here’s a little preview of the shots we got!

Love,

Lauren Ashley

Disco Curtis

last week a few friends of mine from highschool came through on tour with their band Disco Curtis and I got to catch up with them for a bit.  They ended up crashing at my house to avoid a hotel bill, so we decided to take a few pics in the street.  It was freezing, but we had a lot of fun experimenting with the flash and different lighting.  These guys are way talented for only 18, and they are like little brothers to me. Enjoy 🙂

Love,

Lauren Ashley

My chance to brag a little bit…

I have really hesitated to blog about this for fear of being that girl, but I just wanna take a little minute to tell yall about Justin.

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Photo by: Trevor DeVage

I sincerely feel like the most blessed girl on the planet to have such an incredible man in my life.  Justin loves the Lord in such a devoted way, a way that challenges me daily.  His heart is genuine, and he stands by his word. He’s patient, and kind and compassionate and more than any other quality, what I love most about him is that when he loves, that love comes from nowhere but Jesus himself.  His love for God and his love for others because of God are his very best qualities.

The semester before Justin and I met, I had spent several months in a miserable season of depression.  It’s not something I like talking about much because it was just that painful, but at one particular moment in that semester, I journalled asking God to remind me what his love looked like, because in my pain I had forgotten.  I didn’t remember what it was like to be loved by God.  I looked back at that journal a few months after meeting Justin and realized that he had been an answer to that prayer- he truly loved me with Jesus’ love.

Justin is the man of God I have always dreamt of having, but never thought I would get.  I don’t deserve him, yet God has blessed me with his love and care and selflessness, and for that I couldn’t be more thankful.  I pray I’ll get many more days, weeks and years with this sweet, wonderful man and that by our being together, someone else might see Christ more fully- not because our relationship is perfect or greater than any other couple by any means, but because they see how two imperfect, flawed people can find love through the love of Jesus.

thanks for listening to me brag about my fantastic boyfriend. 🙂

Love,

Lauren Ashley

Sarah

My friend sarah is such a joy.  We went to this cute little area in Cincinnati (not sure what it’s called) this afternoon and shot around, me getting some practice in, and she was taking film shots for a photo class.  We grabbed some yummy iced tea, and caught up on life.  It was wonderful to spend some time with such a wonderful friend.  She is a photographer as well, check out her stuff here.

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Love,

Lauren Ashley