Learn to say “i’m sorry” in your marriage.

Jennie's Snippets, Love

I can be a bit of a prideful person.

Admitting that I am wrong is something I rarely do, and something that I clearly need to work on. I’ve always been the person in my family to argue over the fact that “I am correct” ever since I was small.

If you asked my mom today, she would tell you that I was known to always get the last word. I wanted to feel triumphant because I won the battle. I wanted to speak the last few utterances to prove that I was the ultimate winner.

But man…..what a waste of energy.

If I was arguing with my family I would let an argument continue for hours after it started because I STILL did not get the last word. My whole day would be spent feeling frustrated, getting angrier, and losing patience.

The worst part of it all was that these days almost always coincided with an adventure: swimming at the lake, going to the park, going shopping, etc.

These days were supposed to be fun! Instead, I can only remember arguing.

For example, one time my little sister, Kellie, got on my nerves so much while we were visiting a theme park (Kings Dominion) that I “half-way” punched her in the face. It wasn’t hard. I swung very slowly and tapped her face with my fist. I did that because she wouldn’t be quiet – she wanted to make sure that I didn’t get the last word, and so I tried to shut her up so I could.

I was 12.

How ridiculous I feel telling that story.

It’s a funny memory now because I was a kid who couldn’t control her temper, but I also know that I missed out on the memories I could’ve made if I wasn’t so busy “keeping my pride.”

I mean….what’s pride if you make a fool of yourself, no longer have fun, and miss the opportunity to create memories?

It’s stupid.

Sticking up for your pride is not worth it if all you do is destroy the relationships in front of you.

The same rule applies in marriage. We have to let our pride go.

Being married to someone means you know your spouse in an intimate way. You know their successes, and their downfalls. You know their quirks, and their habits. You know how to love, and how to hate. We even know how to hurt them in an argument.

And what a shame it would be to do that.

We argue because sometimes we are baffled that our spouse thinks we are wrong and say “I can’t believe you aren’t on my side on this – you’re my husband/wife – you’re supposed to be on my side.”

But, it’s not about choosing sides. It’s about growing. At times, my husband will tell me things that I can improve on like: cleaning the dishes, or remembering to switch the laundry from the washer to dryer (which I forget often). He isn’t trying to be mean – he’s trying to make me better. But, my ears can fall short.

Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

I don’t want to hear it, and my response can be…well….bad. Sometimes, I can respond so bad to correction, or an opinion not similar to mine, that I can get kind of mean. Maybe not in a blunt way, but I don’t act super nice.

Because of how I respond I slowly destroy everything I have built with my husband. I react, rather than wait in patience for the right words to say.

Why am I destroying what I love? Because I care that my pride might be hurt?

Am I married to my pride? No.

I’m married to Bruce.

We all get into arguments. It’s inevitable. Arguing is a part of marriage. The difference between a healthy marriage, and an unhealthy marriage, is how you handle these arguments.

I refuse to go to bed angry. I will muster up all the courage that I have so that I can apologize to my husband for anything I have said or done in an argument EVEN IF I think i’m right.

Because, at the end of the day, it’s not about being right or wrong, it’s about choosing who we love most over our own self.

My pride does not matter if I have hurt Bruce. I vowed to love this man with all that I had until the day I died. And, I will.

Regardless of my stance in an argument I will come to my husband and say “i’m sorry.” I will apologize for anything I have said or done, and mean it.

It’s not a ritual. I can’t just say “i’m sorry” and let the day keep going. That doesn’t have meaning. I have to admit that I am wrong, point out why I was wrong, and show him how much I love him when I say “i’m sorry.”

It can be awkward to swallow our pride and apologize, but it’s always worth it in the end.

Choosing our spouse over ourselves will always prove rewarding.

It will deepen your relationship with one another, and build a foundation of trust that cannot be broken. Over time, you will learn to see eye-to-eye and understand the why behind actions, and work through every obstacle you face together.

And that all steams from coming forward, losing your pride, and saying “i’m sorry.”

Love,

Jennie Laureen

In Marriage – Don’t Build a Fence Over the Small Things.

Love

Being married is one of the best things I have ever committed to. It’s also one of the hardest things I have ever committed to, and I truly mean that.

I dated my handsome hubby for 9 years before we tied the knot. We had so many necessary conversations to prepare us for marriage like: setting boundaries, financial discussions, raising-a-family, etc.

We were ready (and all those talks paid off, phew)! But, there was one thing no married couple could truly explain to us until we experienced it ourselves.

Loving someone so much, but also being so irritated at them all at the same time.

I love my husband, and I will love him until I take my last breath.

I will fight for my husband, and do my best to honor him in all the ways that I can.

I am fiercely committed to our relationship!

But.

But.

But.

I was not prepared for the internal fences I would easily put up after 6 to 7 months of marriage.

You see…he has a really bad habit of leaving his hats around the house. (And I have a super bad habit about leaving my cups around the house – ever since I was a kid – so I am no saint).

Exhibit A.

Some days, when I get home after a long day of work and I see a hat lying randomly in the living room, I come undone (it’s okay to call me insane).

Sometimes I have to take a breather because I will let that one little thing eat at me. Then, when I see my husband, I let that irritation build into a pile of frustration because I point out other things: the dishes in the sink, the clothes on the bedroom floor, or the blankets that aren’t folded.

I would get so worked up. In my head i’m like “I can’t believe that he can’t just pick up his hats – I mean…they are hats….just put them away!

But.

But.

But.

After some much needed self-reflection, I realized that I really am being ridiculous. Why am I forgetting all the beautiful and wonderful things about my husband that make him who he is over some hats – HATS!!!

Why am I getting so worked up, and amounting everything I know about my husband, over his inability to put away a hat.

My husband is so much more than someone “who can’t put away a hat.”

He is literally my prince in shining armor who loves me unconditionally!

  1. One time, I had a super bad tummy ache and he got me medicine and a heating pad, and let me rest in the bed until my tummy was better.
  2. Or, the time he brought home flowers that made our house smell and look amazing.
  3. Or, the time he came home and randomly danced with me in the kitchen (that’s my favorite).

There are a million little things that make me fall in love with him more and more each day.

But, if I don’t keep myself in check, then I will eventually only remember those small things that irritate me (that shouldn’t irritate me), and forget all the other small things that make him who he is – the reason I married him.

I also have to remember that I could be a total irritation too. I am not perfect! For instance:

  1. I leave cups all over the house.
  2. I open a can of drink, take a sip, and put it back in the fridge.
  3. I hate cleaning the bath tub (now…he is a saint for taking care of this).
  4. One time, I left a compost bucket outside for 2 months, because I forgot about it, and it smelled like straight butt when it finally got warm. But, Bruce took care of it for me (again, he is the saint in this house!!).

So, you see, we both have things to work on!

I just have to remember that he is more than the little things that irritate me. He is my husband that I have vowed to love and to cherish. I can’t cherish him if I build a wall of irritation over some hats.

I have to talk to him, love him, and continually remember why I choose him before I ever lose focus because of the little things that frustrate me. I also have to remember that I am no where near perfect, and I have things to work on too.

Our marriage is more important to me than a bunch of hats around the house.

Because one day, if something were to ever happen, I would miss picking up each hat every day and taking it upstairs to his side of this closet. ❤

Love is about having continual conversations, and developing deeper bonds with one another by looking past the small things that really don’t matter.

Love,

Jennie Laureen

Dear Beautiful Bride, you do not have to follow all those pesky wedding rules.

Jennie's Snippets, Lies, Live

Let me guess…you are about to get MARRIED? Congratulations! Before I dive in let me first start with this – aren’t you tired of people asking you when the big day is, especially if you are freshly engaged?

LAWD, I can’t tell you how many times people asked Bruce and I. My first response (in my head) was always “dude…I don’t know…I just found out I was getting married! So, I definitely don’t have a date yet.” LOL, It always made me giggle!

And that’s okay that people ask – they are excited FOR you! I mean, it is a natural question to ask when you get engaged. So, just smile and respond, and enjoy the fact that for only 12 months (more or less) people are curious about your wedding! I mean…it only happens once…right? (or we hope it does).

groom beside bride holding bouquet flowers

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Right now, I am a bride myself. And I have learned A LOT. A lot more about myself than anything. You know, my whole life I pictured planning this extravagant wedding (like in the movies), and as soon as I got engaged I quickly discovered that I don’t care about those things.

You see, I am marrying the love of my life. I am a sentimental person. I want things to hold true and lasting value. So, when I do things for the wedding it has NOTHING to do with what other brides typically do. I don’t care about the colors, or the cake, or the music, or even the dang traditions.

This is me and Bruce at our favorite downtown Raleigh coffee shop!
  1. I care that my dad walks me down the aisle (because I wasn’t sure at one point in my life that he would be there for it).
  2. I care that I wear my grandmother’s wedding ring because I always pictured her at my wedding. I NEVER thought she would die before I got married so it’s important that she is there with me somehow.
  3. I care that I wear my mother’s dress (that I have tried on so many times before because it’s beautiful and I want to showcase my mom somehow.
  4. I care that both of my sisters were my “maid of honor” because they have been my rock and consistent friend, when others failed to pull through, my entire life.
  5. I care that I see my handsome (and quite sexy) man at the other end of the aisle because we have spent 8 amazing years together and this is to celebrate US – not to please everyone with an opinion.
  6. I care that my bridesmaids feel beautiful on my wedding day so they got to pick whatever dress they wanted (same color and length because Bruce likes things to go together).
  7. I care that I write my vows and say them to him because he means too much to me to repeat some vows someone else wrote (which BTW isn’t a bad thing – it’s just not my style).

My thing to ask you as you prepare for this big day is – what do you care about?

person tying white ribbon on blonde-haired woman

Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

You see, Bruce and I play off each other’s strengths. I LOVE managing my finances. So, the budget for the wedding is my job. Everything else? Well, that’s him. Haha. I am not the least bit creative. I am better at making sure someone else’s dream can come true based on their financial situation. So, Bruce did all of this:

  1. Picked the colors
  2. Picked the decor
  3. Picked out the food
  4. Had a huge hand in picking the venue.
  5. Picked out the outfits.
  6. Picked out the bridesmaids dresses – yep. I was SO scared I was going to get the color wrong that I couldn’t dress shop without him. (phew).

He did those things because he cares about those things! He is “stylistic.” So, that was his job!

white flower lot
Basically, our wedding scheme.
Photo by mariana acevedo on Unsplash

You want to know what we don’t care about?

  1. We don’t care whether we have the wedding in the church or somewhere else. The church is the PEOPLE – not a building. So, we have our ceremony/reception in the same place, and it’s not a church. Plus, it makes it easier on everyone! Does anyone else hate driving to the reception site after the ceremony, or is it just me?
  2. We don’t care about the cake. And we still haven’t figured that part out yet because we don’t want cake. We don’t like sweets so we are kind of lost on that part.
  3. We don’t care about having a D.J. So, we are going to plug in a phone and have a BLAST!!
  4. We don’t care about “save the dates” because it’s such a waste of paper. We are only doing invitations.
  5. And for me – I DON’T care about a veil and will not be wearing one no matter how many people try to pressure me into one ❤

Your wedding should be about you and your husband. No one else. It took me a little while at the beginning, but I finally got it down.

Another one of us. Gosh, isn’t he cute?

One last piece of advise before I go because it became a problem – people inviting themselves.

We have a lot of people who automatically assume they are invited because we have a history with them. But, we have to consider our budget and our venue space. There are so many people that we WISH we could invite, but can’t. Therefore, we are going to have to say no to many many people. Not because we don’t love them or don’t want them there, but we care about our financial future and don’t wish to break the bank trying to please everyone. Our families (which are pretty big) and immediate friends are the only ones invited.

So, enjoy your wedding, break some traditions, and make it something truly yours! ❤

Love,

Jennie Laureen

Photo by photo-nic.co.uk nic on Unsplash

You need to be independent in your romantic relationships.

Love

I’m writing this article from my perspective of being in a long-term relationship, and I didn’t learn this until probably year 4 or 5 of being with Bruce, and we are about to hit year 8 (geez-la-weez). And for the record, year 4 or 5 is when we became adults – 18/19 (I think I was 20) years of age – so this will definitely look different for someone who is starting to date someone in their 20’s!

It is vital that you maintain some level of independence while in a loving and caring relationship with someone. Codependency isn’t healthy. Codependency is, in relative terms, an “addiction to the relationship.” It means that one cannot function, physically or psychologically, without their partner.

It may sound crazy, but it’s similar to being addicted to a substance. Both have psychological effects that make someone dependent on the “item” or “you” to where life cannot continue unless that “item” or “you” is a present and constant force in their life.

And codependency can get a little fuzzy when you first start dating. At the beginning of the relationship that’s all you want. You want to spend every second with this person, text and call them around the clock, and just be with them! And that is OKAY. Because that is the honeymoon stage.

The honeymoon stage is where couples are “ooey-gooey,” “lovey-dovey,” and are, simply put, love struck. You cannot see any wrong in them – they are perfect and with no flaw. You two can conquer the world, get married, have babies, and live happily ever after! This stage doesn’t last long – typically between 3 months to a little less than 1 year.

Once the honeymoon stage is over then you need to observe how you interact in the relationship and how your partner interacts in the relationship. And, there are some signs of codependency that is easy to catch as long as you are looking for them.

1. Your “purpose” in life seems to revolve around your partner which involves making extreme sacrifices to satisfy their needs.

For example, you are about to go on vacation with your family. Your flight leaves the next day. Your partner calls you, crying, because he/she is going to miss you too much for you to go and begs you to stay. Without question, maybe some hesitation, you stay. You don’t go on that trip with your family, but you really should have!

 2. Your emotional involvement in the relationship is quiet because you constantly worry about their opinion. Therefore, when unsatisfied, a conversation is never had because you want to avoid an argument. 

For example, you really want to discuss where you are in the relationship. Maybe you do notice that you need some space, but are too worried that your partner may look at you differently. That he/she may break it off because you aren’t “happy” in the relationship. Because of that you stay quiet and choose not to have that conversation because the relationship matters more than your own emotional well-being. You pretend to be happy.

3. Saying no to your partner doesn’t feel like an option even when it drains you mentally, physically, and financially.

This is a tough one because I have trouble saying no any way due to my personality type because I enjoy helping people. But, we aren’t called to be people-pleasers. God calls us according to his will and his way. Therefore, saying no to something that doesn’t align with his word is VITAL.

Regardless, as an example, when your partner asks you to do something you have trouble saying no because you want to keep the peace and the relationship “stable.” But, let me tell you something, if your relationship is codependent than you are in a very unstable relationship. It’s like losing yourself.

4. Boundaries no longer exist. 

For example, you have a strong faith but somehow this relationship becomes more important than that faith you have. You will try things, do things, and say things with your partner (because they suggest and/or say so) that goes against everything you believe. That line in the sand has been crossed.

5. You, or they, need constant reassurance that your relationship is okay. That you or your partner feel loved, and that others approve of your relationship. 

For example, you have to constantly ask your partner “do you love me?” Or, you have to ask your friends how your relationship looks or if your partner is a good guy/gal to be with. And when they say he/she isn’t good you simply ignore the warning and, again, ask your partner “do you love me?” You aren’t confident in each other’s relationship and you seek approval.

6. Relationships outside of your romantic relationship, including friends and family, become nonexistent. Your partner takes up all of your time. And, when you do finally make time for your friends and family, your partner makes your feel guilty for it. 

This one doesn’t need explaining, but is the most obvious indicator of codependency. Your life revolves solely around your partner and no one else. You become isolated.

Being in a codependent relationship isn’t satisfying – it’s life wrecking. As a person, you have so much potential that you deserve to discover. God doesn’t call us to depend on a partner, but to depend on him. This isn’t a two-way street with just you and your partner. God has to be involved in your relationship. We rely on his strength and his will for our life – not our partners.

Our partners can never give us the right direction for our life. They love you and care for you, but will never know you as intimately as God knows you. Your partner can pray for you and be a sturdy foundation, but cannot control who you are meant to be/become.

If your partner tries to control you and allows you little freedom and no independence then it is most likely time to step away from the relationship.

I am not saying that if and when you show some signs of codependency (every once in a while) that it’s time to end it.

We all have our moments or time-periods where we become a little more dependent on our partner, but that shouldn’t turn into a pattern.

Being independent in a relationship means loving your partner for who they are and encouraging them to seek God and develop a greater faith in him. Don’t control your partner to be who you think they should be – that’s completely against what God asks of us. And don’t allow someone to control you – you deserve better.

Bruce and I love each other. With that comes an understanding that we each have lives. We each have friends that we love and care about. We each have goals that we want to achieve. We support each other in them, but we don’t make decisions based on what the other says nor do we try to control the outcome of each other’s life.

Let’s say it’s a Friday night and I just saw Bruce Thursday night (we went out to dinner or something). I don’t have plans and would love to spend time with him again, but he has a game night planned with a few of his buddies. I will never ask him to cancel those plans to spend time with me. I JUST saw him. He has friends and he deserves to have friends outside of our relationship, because that is what makes a healthy relationship in the first place.

We are two independent people who have decided that we want to spend the rest of our lives together. That doesn’t mean sacrificing everything that we are, want to become, or are meant to be to satisfy the other. We are in mutual agreement with the direction that God has for our lives. We support each other, love each other, push each other to be better than before (towards God), but will never manipulate, control, or force what we think is “right” on each other.

And to get to that spot requires time, trust and patience.

You don’t earn that kind of relationship over night.

You have to face trials, work through the tough times and be willing to discuss difficult questions and face the facts in all of it – BEFORE MARRIAGE. I would hate to enter into marriage with someone that I honestly don’t know at all.

And to be honest,  I wanted to be a married women after year 3, but I am so glad we didn’t because I wasn’t fully confident in us to become a married couple until the end of year 6. We grew up, became adults, and learned to lead independent lives outside of our relationship.

Side note: at year 6 I turned 22 years old. The timeline will look different for you! Please don’t go and wait 6 years to get married because that’s the “right time.” You could get married after year 2 or year 10. You will know when you are in a confident place – I promise.

Love,

Jennie Laureen

 

 

 

 

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Finding my lost identity.

Jennie's Snippets

I went on a mission trip to Kenya back in April of this year. I went with an excited and expectant heart to minister to every woman, every girl, and every child that my eyes laid on. I had a heart full of love to pour out onto any soul who stumbled along my path.

I prepared, I fasted, and I prayed to see God move in remarkable ways in the lives of those who had little to cling to. I was ready.

What I did not prepare for was what it would be like to return home.

I went with a team of other women who are just remarkable at children’s ministry. Our hearts were aligned with one mission in sight. Together, we held a children’s ministry conference for over 100 girls with over 40 dedicating their lives to Christ admitting that Christ’s love is powerful enough to forgive them and lead them, we visited and loved on babies at an abandoned baby home, and we did ministry at an orphanage with girls and boys aging from 2 to 18.

We were living and breathing the mission field. I mean, we do every day no matter where we are, but we got to do the dirtier work of it all.

The thing is… I have been out of the country doing mission work before and came home, sad, but nothing like this.

Ever since I was a little girl, sitting at the Pilgrimage Conference, God spoke to me. He TOLD me that my life was not meant to be lived lavishly. That my feet will one day wander into something bigger than my body could handle. That my feet would land in Africa and a child residing there would become my own.

Sounds crazy to you. But for me my heart has clung to it wondering when it would happen. Praying, hoping, expecting – waiting.

When Pam, our conference girls director, invited me to go on this trip I was absolutely terrified. I had let fear of war, famine and disease infiltrate my mind that I almost said no.

But Pam didn’t know the desire of my heart and the promise that God made me. In my decision, I was more fearful that I wouldn’t allow his promise to become a reality.  Before I lost my courage I quickly told Pam……YES!

Christ was powerful. He worked in all those kids lives, but most importantly He worked in mine.

I was not prepared for the amount of emptiness I would feel once I got home. I felt AT home in Kenya. I could have stayed my whole life – right there. I wouldn’t miss a single thing that America called a “comfortable” lifestyle.

I don’t need a fancy car, I don’t need a large home, I don’t need a big paycheck, I don’t need designer clothes, or a protected life. I’m simply joyful with being alive.

I just wish I could have given more and stayed longer there.


It has taken me a long time to write this because I wasn’t sure of who I was when I got back. It was difficult for me to write something so sensitive. I felt so lost because all I wanted to do was get back on a plane to Africa.

When I got to my apartment, the night of my arrival to America, I went straight to my bed and cried myself to sleep.

I didn’t want to be here. I wanted to be there.

Today is much different than that first night back. During a prayer night at Elevation Raleigh my pastor called for a night of prayer rather than a teaching.  He had no idea how much I needed it.

God knew what I was struggling with, and behold, an older woman who had been in similar shoes prayed with me and helped me understand that I wasn’t alone in my loss and suffering.

I was finally able to breathe again, but I had to decide who I was, and what God’s plan was going to be for me that moment onward. What did HE want for me?

Ministry is at the heart of who I am and all that I am. I can’t breathe unless I am being a servant for Christ. I am no one unless Christ gives me his commands to do his work. The mission trip REMINDED me of my mission (both here and there – local and international).

I wasn’t giving enough while I was serving in America. And, I am desperate to serve more with every opportunity God gives me.

My heart is full and expectant – I have so much for me to pour out.

And God’s promise for me will prevail. He only gave me a taste with my visit. Kenya, currently, does not allow for international adoption, but one day one of those children at THAT orphanage (which will remain unnamed) will call me mommy <3.

Jennie Laureen

Photo by Velizar Ivanov on Unsplash

Finding real adult friends seems almost impossible.

Love

Relationships are tough to build. They require persistence, connection, exposure and vulnerability. They require us to be more than a face and a person to hang out with – especially if our hope is to connect with someone so that we can bear our true selves. We want to be able to relate to one another on a deeper level.

But, the ability to build relationships gets harder the older we get. 

I’ve been talking to some of my closest friends, who are between the ages of 20 and 27, and their greatest struggle is finding relationships of their own that result in the same deep connections they had with the friends they grew up with.

As we all know, we grow up and move away to new cities with new jobs, or to new opportunities. We still have those close relationships we built when we were younger, we don’t forget those, but we still need friends to lean on in this new place we plant ourselves.

The difference for making friends now is that we aren’t put in a situation where it’s easy to make friends. All throughout our school life, and college, we were surrounded by people that we saw almost every single day. We had no choice but to make the effort to get to know them and expose ourselves to them. We had the TIME to build and nurture those relationships.

Today, as an adult, I work all day. Everyone is doing their job and trying to get their part done. Relationships are cast aside and you are considered a singular part of a complicated machine. You keep moving and the machine keeps functioning.

We are planted in places where relationships aren’t considered important, but that doesn’t mean we can’t build them.

Not only that, but we forget that adults have gone through some nasty relationships.

Adult’s carry a weight of mistrust for people because of their past mishappenings. They don’t let people in as easily as they did in their youth. 

If we want to be considered a friend then it’s our job to work on the relationship we desire to have. We make the effort.

We can’t hold expectations for the people we want to be friends with to make the effort themselves first. 

We can’t just “show-up” in their lives and expect for them to automatically trust and love us. They have baggage and we must offer a shoulder to help them carry it. We won’t gain their trust unless we show what we are willing to give up or expose first.

I don’t ever believe that friendships should come easy. If friendships come in easily then they leave just as easily.

For relationships to truly matter then we must do our part. Text and call them first, ask to hang out first, tell your story first. AND, continue to do so until it’s consistent. Don’t do it one time – do it multiple times. It takes TIME and PERSISTENCE in order to show them that you care and are trying.

Adults don’t want to waste their time on a one-off relationship. Who wants to expose their deepest struggles and desires just for someone to leave tomorrow? Adults, like myself, are looking for stability in their relationships.

You must take the chance to be open and exposed if you want to find a relationship that is fulfilling. As humans, we need friendship and connection to survive.

Sadly, we live in a world where quick satisfaction of “likes” and “comments” are encouraged to satiate our hunger for more, but in the end, we will end up starved.

Get off your phone and into a booth and build that relationship from the ground up.

Jennie Laureen

 

 

 

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I don’t need you to like me for me to be happy!

Lead

You see – I’ve been labeled the “happy person.” I am the person that most people go to if they need a boost of energy, or a shoulder to cry on, or an ear for someone to talk to. Loving people just comes naturally to me. It brings an abundance of joy to my life to know that someone feels loved. Not everyone gets that opportunity to pour so deeply into someone, and I love the fact that I get that opportunity on a daily basis.

However, no matter how much love I exhibit there will always be people who hate me even if they don’t want to admit it. I’ve been around long enough to know who hates me and who loves me.

And the thing is – it doesn’t bother me. At least not like it used to. In fact, it brings a huge smile to my face!

You see…I refuse to allow someone to break my spirit because I am a woman on a mission and I plan to accomplish it daily. Let me say it again – DAILY.

Did you know that Jesus said in John 15:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belong to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out the world. That is why the world hates you.”

Honestly, to know that people are against me helps me to know that I am going in the right direction. I won’t allow them to falter or hesitate my actions because what God has entrusted to me is worth so much more.

I cannot allow my thoughts and time to be spent worrying about what my haters say.

To allow them to break my spirit means for me to give in to the temptation to question what God has promised me.

Therefore, I will brush it off my shoulder, remember the truths that I’ve been promised, and keep strutting in the direction that I see.

I can honestly laugh at this next mention. Because….people who appreciate me say the SAME THING as the people who hate me. Such as:

  1. You smile so much!
  2. You’re so happy!
  3. You have so much energy!

Their tone of voice changes. Isn’t it funny how they work both ways? My point is…which voice am I going to listen to you? Certainly not the people who think my traits are disgustingly annoying ( yes – I have heard that too [haha] ).

Successful and happy people do not adhere to the words of their enemies to only back down. They use it as their fuel. It drives them and reminds them that they wish not to live in a world where people like themselves don’t exist.

You will have people who hate you.

The best thing you can do………………………………………………………………………………….  Love them.

Photo by Alejandro Alvarez on Unsplash

Set boundaries for your family if you want a rewarding relationship with your significant other.

Love

It took me time to realize what was causing me so much stress and strain over the holidays and in general life settings. It wasn’t until I had a startling conversation with my significant other that helped me open my eyes to how much of a hold certain people had in how I made my decisions.

There are people in our lives that mean more to us than life itself. You would give up what was your last, you would love until your last breath, and you would sacrifice yourself to ensure their safety. To me, this represents my family.

We all have some form of family – whether through blood, marriage, real or imaginary adoption. These are your forever people. They will stick around until death parts you. These people deserve attention, love, praise, admiration, etc. They create the make-up of who we ultimately are and eventually become.

I love my family.

But, as I look at the future I want to create and the dream I envision in my head that I want to be a reality, my steps don’t align with the steps my family wants me to take.

My family has molded me, in many ways, to who I am. I also have my friends, my church, and my education that have molded me in other ways that I also give credit to. I am a Robinson, but I am also Jennie. A different person from the rest of my family just like they are all different from myself and each other.

We all have varying ethical standards and models of behavior that we follow based on our personal life experiences. We clash because it doesn’t always align.

This holiday season, the time of year where we spend a significant amount of time with our family, I realized that I have to start setting boundaries to prepare for the future I want to see. I really value creating a sustainable, loving, and fair relationship that communicates and listens to each other. I value this above many things!

My significant other, the amazing Bruce Hayes, is someone I have been with for over 7 years. Yes – I will marry him and I literally can not wait! We have had a million conversations about the marriage we want to create. We have seen the successes and pitfalls of other couples and we know what we want to have and what we want to avoid.

This year, and every year, we have spent the majority of our days with my family: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Years Day.  Every holiday is centered on my side of the family. The woman’s side.

My dad has said on a handful of occasions that he doesn’t feel appreciated. Father’s day is not a big day we celebrate, his birthday isn’t made into a grande ordeal, and we hardly make a significant effort about visiting his side of the family even though we love them equally.

 

The point is, I made every effort this year to please my family. Every time they wailed about me not spending time with them I caved and satisfied their needs. Therefore, I spent Christmas Eve, most of Christmas, and I will be spending New Year’s Eve and New Years with them.

One of my sister’s said to me: “You aren’t even engaged. Family should come first.”

Sure…there is a lot of truth to that statement, but what am I creating in our relationship NOW by allowing this?

Marriage doesn’t change how you act as a couple – it’s what you build prior to that, that will determine how your marriage will be.

I never want Bruce to feel like I don’t care about his side of the family. I don’t ever want Bruce to feel insignificant because we don’t celebrate Fathers’ day with as much enthusiasm and excitement as Mother’s day!

Bruce has told me on several occasions that he can’t wait to be a dad, and he wants to be a great one!! I want to take that time to build appreciation into our relationship and care just as much about his wants and needs during the holidays and every other celebration.

I want to build a marriage that is fair and loving. Where we listen to each other’s needs/wants so we can grow together. We will change as people as we age and experience life. I need/want to build a foundation that can support the changes.

I know my family wants me for the entire holiday, and that makes me feel SO good to be loved and wanted. But Bruce’s family wants him there too, and they also want to see me, because we are building a future together.

I need to set boundaries for my family – when to say yes to their wants so I can spend time with them, and when to say no to their wants so that I can meet Bruce’s needs.

What are you building in your relationship now to prepare for the future you two envision?

Love,

Jennie Laureen

 

 

 

Photo by Raphael Mittendorfer on Unsplash

Stop trying to control everything in your life.

Lead

I’m writing this because it sucks to finally notice – and I am not the only one with this problem. And, yes – it is a problem. The inability to let go of your control.

I had no idea that I needed or wanted the amount of control I desired. I woke up to it because I read an article on recognizing the controllers in your life, and as I read the article I found my self within it. And I wasn’t happy with what I found. Here are a few that I have personally dealt with:

  1.  Believing that you are 100% responsible for your success. This sounds really nice because I do believe you are responsible for your success, but not 100%. We have this motto that “failure isn’t an option” and we tend to be overly critical of ourselves, and others when things don’t go as planned. Ex: we didn’t get the job we wanted – we thought we had a perfect resume and a flawless interview – nothing was wrong with it. But, there are circumstances such as good timing and blessing. I was so shocked, and proud, that my significant other got a job just by talking his way into it BECAUSE he was there at the right time with his brother who was interviewing for a job. It’s a coincidence and a major blessing for him! I wouldn’t have thought it possible.
  2. You invest too much time trying to convince other people to change. We tend to have this mentality that we believe we know what’s best for everyone. We will even do our best to see what we envision for their lives to come true. We will “give you advice” when you didn’t ask for it, or paint of picture of what your life “could” be like, and even get upset when you do something different than what we think is best! Reality check – the only person who knows what’s best for them IS THE PERSON – not you (or me).
  3. Most of our energy is zapped by trying to prevent bad things from happening. Rather than being smart and preparing for the hurricane, we will altogether try and stop it. All that energy is spent trying to prevent the big bad wolf from entering our home when in reality he eventually breaks in at some point.
  4. We do everything ourselves – we don’t assign our to-do list to anyone. I can already see how bad this could be if I ever want to make it to the C-Suite. I KNOW I have taken on everything possible because I do believe that I can do it exactly right – without fault! And when I do fail – it’s really hard for me to admit and I am already trying to correct it OR MAKE UP FOR IT!

Having too much control essentially removes you from the quality of life you were meant to live.

I have compiled a list below that also defines a control freak, and some of them sting!  Because I absolutely love people, but I see myself in a few of these and I hate it. Want to know if you are a control freak too? Read some of these below:

  1. You believe that if someone would change one or two things about themselves then life, and yourself, would be better so you try to “help them” change this behavior by pointing it out, usually over and over.
  2. You micromanage others to make them fit your (often unrealistic) expectations.
  3. You judge others’ behavior as right or wrong and passive-aggressively withhold attention until they fall in line with your expectations.
  4. You give out “constructive criticism” to meet your own agenda.
  5. You manage how others see you by changing who you are or what you believe so they’ll accept you.
  6. You present the worst scenario to influence someone from certain behaviors and certain people.
  7. You have a really hard time with ambiguity and not knowing something.
  8. You talk on behalf of others to explain or dismiss their behavior to others.

The ones I see myself in are: 1, 2, 6, and 7! And I wouldn’t write this blog post UNLESS I have personally been working on these issues myself. I have learned a great deal about myself and the people around me, and I hope the people around me have noticed that I’m trying to change.

However, if you are a control freak like me then here are some things that you need to do to help yourself – and you shouldn’t be trying to change others to make it happen.

  • We are only responsible for ourselves, and we should take care of ourselves to build beautiful relationships.
  • Be vulnerable and open. Your mistakes don’t define you – they are a part of what happens in life and teaches you lessons to give to the next generation. We learn from mistakes – not self-de·struct from them.
  • Be realistic when it comes to your expectations of others. And be realistic about what you can actually do.
  • Stop being passive-aggressive and be direct in how you feel.
  • Learn to live with the fact that life is full of the unknown.
  • Accept confrontation.
  • Take responsibility for your own happiness – don’t find happiness in others, but for yourself.
  • Practice controlling your own emotions rather than the people around you.

Matthew 19:26 – But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

I am a Jesus follower! So, being a control goes against what I believe. I just never noticed that I was, and no one honestly pointed it out to me. We are not perfect people, and we are never 100% in control and we must come to terms with that. Because, as a human being, our efforts make it impossible to complete everything and without flaw, but with GOD all things are possible – it becomes a reality. But that requires me to give up control and lean on God. I cannot do everything on my own, and to be honest I really don’t want to because I have learned first hand how exhausting and worrisome it can be.

Especially when it comes to the lives of others.

We must really learn to rely on God and not our abilities. We will drive ourselves nuts, and ruin the plan that God has for us AND the people around us. Our idea of what people should be doing isn’t God-spoken. We don’t know what’s best for everyone because we don’t know them at an intimate level like they do or like God does.

This also applies to the kids we love and mentor, and even our own children. We can’t force our reality of them onto them. It’s their life, and God has a life for them. We can’t force them to listen to us, but we can nudge them to listen to God instead.

We have to step back. Breathe. And only control what we should and that is ourselves.

Love,

Jennie Laureen

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by pixpoetry on Unsplash

Stop living inside your head.

Lead, Live

I write not to attract followers. I write not to be confined to a specific routine or to add to my plate of duties. But, that’s what I did because I was told that there is a certain way to blog and to be successful that I must write a certain way, post on a routine, and follow the ideas of pop-culture.

I didn’t start this blog to fall into that category. I started this blog for me because writing was an outlet for the inner struggles that I face. My battle is speaking aloud to the circle of relationships I trust. I choke on the words I want to say. They are screaming in my ears, but never leave the threshold of my mouth to iterate my deepest struggles, needs, passions, and desires.

It’s like there is a rope dangling at the back of my throat and as soon as I get the courage to whisper a sound it lassos the words and forces it back down to my lungs, the oxygen I once had, catches, and I remain silent.

Don’t get me wrong – I am a joyful and loud individual. I love to smile and to laugh. I love to make people feel loved and encouraged. I give everything I have to everyone around me because people deserve someone who cares for them. I will talk your ear off.

But, people forget to realize that the happiest of people struggle too. It’s like there is a misperception that happy people have it all together. That their life is easy and without struggle.

The truth of the matter is – we support so many people and love on so many people that it’s hard for us to allow you to see our weak side because we are currently strong for you.

But then who do we rely on?

YOU. It’s the same people we support that we must learn to rely on. That it’s okay to expose our own worst enemy to those around us because keeping our pains on the inside will chew at your heart and darken your soul.

You’ll soon realize that being a strong and happy individual without exposing your sufferings will soon strip you of the ability to be an emotionally stable rock for those around you. You’ll soon realize that bringing joy will fade because you’re locked into your mental cage.

You can’t see past the inside of your skull, your eyes are hazed over, and you aren’t really in the room.

A word of advice to those who have a friend who has always been their rock, their mentor, and their shoulder to cry on. Just ask them how things are going. Look them in the eye, and ask them about life and help lead them into a conversation and environment where they can expose themselves.

I know how hard it is, and if it wasn’t for one of the most special people in my life – I would still be living inside my head most days and trying to be a rock for everyone else.

Because I have someone who I trust wholeheartedly – things don’t eat away at me like they use to. I am healthier and stronger in my mental state now more than I ever have.

Love,

Jennie Laureen

 

 

Photo by Vladislav Muslakov on Unsplash

You don’t need someone to hit “like” to know your worth.

Live

I am not a big fan of taking selfies just to post them. Of course, i’ll post a few because I am proud of my outfit or new hair, but on a daily basis? Nope.

It’s not my profession. If you do hair or makeup or are a gym junkie who demonstrates bodily progress then yes – selfie away. Go and market yourself like a pro because you deserve to grow your business!

What I’m referencing is the unmatched proportion of selfies taken by people to just post a selfie. I scroll through Instagram at least twice a day, and sometimes I will see someone post three-four pictures of themselves, or videos of themselves on their story,  in a few short hours. That doesn’t seem necessary. We all know what you look like.

Selfies, in and of themselves are not bad, but it’s when you become reliant on the aftermath of your post. The comments and the likes come streaming in and you get a boost of adrenaline or a dose of dopamine that satisfies you.

And this is not a girl problem – it’s a boy problem too.

The issue lies in where your source of energy, joy, and self-confidence comes from. I want you to sit back and think about something:

Do you rely on someone “hearting/liking your picture” to tell you that you are good enough? Beautiful enough? Handsome enough? Strong enough? Loved enough? Are enough…?

If there is one thing that I have learned in life it’s that you can’t rely on what other people think of you in order to understand what your own worth is. You are worthy because the King of Kings loves you regardless of what you have done or will do in your life. You are worthy because you are a human being, and your mother worked very hard to bring you into this world.

You are worthy because there isn’t another soul on this earth that is exactly like you, and we need every person who is uniquely different to create the society we live in. No one can be the same. I don’t want to live in a world where we all try to be the same person – reach the same goals.

No one can be or should be the same.

#relationshipgoals #bodygoals #selfiegoals #stylegoals #vacationgoals #lifegoals

We don’t need reassurance from any one else to tell us: “Hey, I’m reaching those goals so i’m posting to tell you.”

It’s easy to pitfall into a state of reliance on the opinions of others, but we were never meant to live a life striving to please what man believes is good and right.

Galatians 1:10 says “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

We need to step back and see where our heart lies. Walking with Christ is never just a moment of “I accept you as my Lord and Savior” and you are done.  This is a journey that lasts until you take your last breath, and it doesn’t get easier.

I challenge you to go 30 days without posting 1 single selfie. Focus on what God thinks of you, and see where your confidence comes from.

Love,

Jennie Laureen

 

 

 

 

Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

Bad relationships aren’t worth investing in.

Love

There are many of us who think we are incredibly strong-willed in our relationship with God. That there is nothing that can separate us from the love we have for our Savior. Our promises are promises, and these promises are easy to make when we are at our highest spiritual peak.

I bet many of you went to a camp when you were younger and experienced God for the first time, and every time, that you went. And each time you would say the same thing – I’m different and changed and will never go back to the old person I once was, I will drop the sin that is holding me back.

That’s the easiest part – experiencing the freedom, and letting go of everything and giving it to God. Here God – take it.

But everyone always forgets part 2…..the work.

Work requires that you give your best effort to truly letting everything go, and it comes at a cost too many people are not willing to pay….because it hurts.

The most difficult part of your journey is letting go of the people who influenced you into your prior position. This could mean: spending less time with them, or no time with them at all. Regardless, these people influence you no matter how strong your faith is.

Boundaries must be created for you to have a sustainable relationship with Jesus.

I don’t mean: if you don’t cut out these relationships you will inevitably lose your relationship with Christ. No. It doesn’t work that way. Jesus’ love for you is an undeniable love that reaches for you in your darkest depths. Jesus Christ chases you down and down again no matter how many times you turn away because his love is unexplainable.

When I say “cutting out relationships,” I am simply telling you to make a choice. I was once this person who led a “rollercoaster relationship” with Christ because I didn’t want to give up the relationships that I loved, especially when I believed full-heartedly that I could change them.

A rollercoaster has twists and turns, ups and downs, and several spirals. There are peaks and valleys, and highs and lows. It was sickening to see myself go through these phases where Christ and I were walking side by side, then I would stop dead in my tracks. I would be at my peak and plummet to a deep valley.

People influence you whether you want to believe it or not.

We believe we are so strong, and we say “i’m not like that – I can influence them.” Do you have any idea how many times I have heard that? When I hear it, and have given all the advice I can give, I sit back and watch. And every time, I see the people I love the most stumble. Our own strength and capacity cannot influence the lost at an intimate capacity.

We are human and sin is in our nature.

Our goal is to love unconditionally, guide when needed, and introduce the lost to the one who can ultimately influence at an intimate capacity. We can only entangle ourselves but so deeply. Imagine jumping into a pit of twine. At first, it’s pretty easy to move around and breath because you are at the surface. But, once you wiggle and move around further you start to sink, and the web starts to wrap around your arms and legs. It’s rather difficult to escape something that is wrapped around you.

If you have ever been to a trampoline park then you understand quite well. If you jump feet first into the foam pit,  it’s much more difficult to climb out. The farther you jump the worse it is, and the more tired you become in trying to climb out and onto the platform.

I have a very small pool of friendships now that I consider just as giving to me as I am to them. They walk close to God, and are “equally yolked.” I can turn to them for advice that is biblically sound rather than culturally driven.

If you are tired of the roller coaster ride like I was then you may want to reconsider who you have decided to keep in your life for the long term.  If it damages your ability to keep your relationship with Jesus Christ – is it really worth it when you think about eternity?

 

Love,

Jennie Laureen

 

 

 

 

Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

 

Sex is bad.

Love

This post was a little hard for me to write. I’ve been working on it for over 3 weeks, but felt that it needed to be written in a way for you to understand my perspective. I realize that other people out there struggle with a similar attitude, and I hope this also helps you.

So…ever since I was a little girl I promised God that I would give myself away to the man who meant to take my hand in marriage.

And I have been an extremely lucky woman to have been dating this wonderful man for 6 years (close to 7) and he has been waiting for me like I have asked. Of course I am not a saint, but to have someone wait for that part of your life is more than a blessing!

When I think of marriage I think of the wonders of raising kids, building a home, and growing old together. This may sound harsh, and it isn’t my intention, but the last thing on my mind is the physical aspect of marriage. It doesn’t mean it’s not there – it’s just at the bottom of what I think about when I hear “marriage.”

I KNOW that sex is a part of marriage. I KNOW that it is a gift from God for a man and a woman to enjoy who come together, with their vows, till death do us part.

But, there is a problem. I grew up with 2 completely different ideals taught to me through the church and it has become a battle in my mind. The church didn’t mean any harm in it at all either. The church said these things as a way to protect us. The people who taught me this were fearful that I would walk the same path they did. I don’t blame the church – I love the church for everything they have taught me. But no one knew the side effects of the teaching, even if it was meant for good! These two ideals are:

  1. Sex is beautiful and meant for marriage. God made it for you to enjoy – so enjoy it. But, if it’s outside of marriage then…
  2. Sex is dirty and disgusting, and you are viewed negatively if you perform it.

I get the waiting ideal. That’s why I have been waiting my whole life because I aspire to be the wife who gives this as a gift to her husband, and to enjoy it with him.

But, I am also terrified of that intimacy. I do feel that once it is all said and done then I won’t feel honored to have given that to my husband. I would feel dirty and disgusting instead. And it terrifies me in 2 ways: I don’t want to disappoint my husband, and I don’t want to feel gross over something that is suppose to be beautiful.

This is something that has been plaguing me for years on end. If I am honest with you then I can tell you that I don’t mind how long I have to wait to have a ring on my finger. I absolutely and utterly love the man that I am with, but the fear keeps me at bay that waiting doesn’t bother me.

Although I have faced the battle in my mind, I have sought out advise on overcoming this irrational fear. Because I know it is based on what people have taught me. I have to reverse the teaching in order for me to overcome it. Of course I am still planning to wait – no worries on that part – but I have been teaching myself consistently over the past few weeks to view that part of marriage as something beautiful.

I even discussed it with my e-group (aka small group), and crazy enough, people were in the SAME boat with similar fears that I have and it honestly helped. I love the “me too” concept.

Here are just a few suggestions that have helped me over the past few weeks and I hope they help you too:

  1. When you wake up in the morning just say to yourself “love is beautiful.” Because it is. All aspects of showing love it beautiful.
  2. I recommend, highly, for you to read the book “Song of Solomon.” It is a scroll about a husband and wife professing love to each other and also showing  love to each other. It has become my favorite book, because even the bible doesn’t fear the discussion of an intimate topic even when so many people in the church are. God made it – we can discuss it.
  3. If you haven’t heard of the book Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers then I also suggest reading this book. It is a beautiful depiction of what love is in ALL aspects of a marriage and it is absolutely beautiful. It is based off of the book of Hosea and it is an inspiring novel.
  4. Stop listening to the teaching “sex is bad” because it is an irreversible teaching that will harm your view of marriage. Sex is beautiful – not disgusting. You still need to guard your heart and mind, and continue to wait (both boys and girls) if you are still waiting.

I am continuing to work on this list. This is very short compared to what it could be, but these few things have helped me so far!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and maybe some tips to add to this list – maybe more books to read (I love reading). Comment below if you wish to share.

Jennie Laureen

You can’t forget a mom like mine.

Jennie's Snippets

So, my mom is quite the character. Seriously. You will never meet another woman like her – impossible. The one thing I love about my mom is her knack to make you laugh – even when you don’t want to. 

You see, she has this laugh that she will use to make you laugh. She will tell you “I bet I can make you laugh,” and the first thought that will go through your head is “yeah right.” I know what you’re thinking “she is going to tell me a corny joke which isn’t going to make me laugh.” WRONG! 

This woman will start with a low rolling laugh and as she continues to belt out her tunes, her pitch will climb and it eventually becomes this screech that sounds like a witch waiting to put you in her “boiling trouble.”  She will continue until you laugh, and inevitably, you will! Because it isn’t what you are expecting. Soon, your belly begins to cramp and you forget everything else in the world and replay that laugh for hours on end. 

I love my mom. 

My mom has been through the trenches of hell but has come out with arms of steel and a chest of iron – skin bruised but not burnt. In my mind, she is the image of wonder woman – a strong and courageous character. I look up to her! She has taught me to fight the battles, stay calm in the storm, and remember that today may be hard but tomorrow is a fresh start. She taught me that I can’t control everything in this world – no matter how much I want to – and that I must rely on God for it or the world will swallow me up. 

You see, I also learned this from my Memaw, who I adored with all my heart, and my mom is becoming Memaw every day. BTW – Memaw is my mom’s mom (if you didn’t catch that). It’s crazy to watch my mom become Memaw. I know when I finally have children my kids will have a childhood just as amazing as mine was. 

I recently looked at my mom a few weeks ago and noticed she had let all of her hair grow out – it’s all grey. It’s beautiful! It shocked me at first because she had always dyed her hair blonde! And I literally burst into tears in front of my mom because it was the first time that I realized that my mom is aging. 

As a kid, I never counted her age. She was always in her 30s! She never grew old to me. But now, as an adult, I realize that the years I have with her are numbered. I hate to think of what life will be like without her because she is quite literally my rock. 

I used to suffer from anxiety – often. My anxiety would swallow me up and I thought I was going to die because I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t see tomorrow – I was stuck. It kept me up all night long. The only thing that could comfort me was crawling into bed with my mom. As long as she held me I could go to sleep. I felt safe! There is nothing in the world like it. 

Therefore, I conclude this post in saying that I love you, mom! Every single day. I don’t forget how much I love you. I love having you as my mom. You taught me so much that I hope to teach my kids. And I can’t wait for my kids to meet you!! You are such an inspiration to me and so many others. I am proud to look like you, I am proud to have been given your amazing features, and I am proud to have a character like yours. 

Thank you for loving me all these years. Through every happy and joyful moment and through every pain and disappointment. 

Happy Birthday to a courageous warrior! I love you!! 

Jennie Laureen

 

Photo by Sue Zeng on Unsplash

 

Dear twin sister.

Jennie's Snippets

Dear Sarah,

There are so many things that I want to tell you, but my stubbornness has always gotten in the way. You see…I want to make sure you know that I love living life with you. Not many people get to experience life like we have.

We have been together since we were formed in the womb. Growing up and experiencing the same trials and successes – from heartbreak to love –  from failing to succeeding.

I want to tell you that I never regret a single moment that I have had with you. I KNOW I can be a total jerk, and there are no excuses for that. It’s so easy to fight with you because I have always known you. When have I never known you?

You are an amazing woman. I am so proud to know who you are, and what you have become through every trial you have faced.

When we were growing up you acted like the older, bossy sister (even though I was the oldest). I stood behind you if I was afraid, I stood next to you if you needed my support, and I will always stand in front of you to protect you from any and all blows any one wishes to throw at you.

I do miss doing everything together. I mean….we had EVERY class together, and even had our first job together. I LOVED it – even though I may not have shown it very well. I never had to worry about not knowing someone in class – you were there.

I do attribute a lot of my success to having you as my twin- mainly because we competed so much with each other! You gave me a drive to always try and beat you that I now have a drive to outdo myself in the real world.

Sarah…I don’t want you to ever forget how much I love you. You have no idea how much I care for you and your well-being. Ask Kellie. Have you ever seen me get mad if someone talks trash about you? I am boiling lava hot and Kellie has to calm me down before I go and tell someone off (which is SO out of character for me), but that just shows how much I honestly care for you.

If anyone is going to talk trash about you – it can only come from my mouth!

You are BEAUTIFUL, you are AMAZING, you are SWEET – KIND – FUNNY (because you are so quirky), and you are my one and only twin. I never want to replace you. There is simply no one who can be better than you.

Love Your Only Twin,

Jennie Laureen

 

 

Photo by Clarisse Meyer on Unsplash