Thursday, March 29, 2012

Where I've been.

This is a random post, deserving of this random picture.

I almost feel guilty sitting here posting a blog.  We have been working like worker bees or worker ants or turkeys or something that works very hard.  Beavers, maybe?  Yes, I have been working like a beaver.  I know you don't really care about how busy we are, but I think that I should post something so that everyone (all six of you) do not think I have quit blogging.  I haven't.  I like this little corner of the internet that somehow belongs to me.  I don't understand how the internet works, really.  But I do like that I am the only one that can post whatever I want here and that somebody out there wants to read it.  Now, back to the being busy part of this blog.  Here's what's happening in the C&LSwonke House.  We are currently editing two weddings that will be delivered to their beautiful owners within the next week and a half.  This is pretty tedious work for Mr. Swonke.  I pray for him and ask him to change the laundry out and read articles to me while I am working on the newspaper.  I know he will get them done on time and they'll be amazing; I just think he needs less sleep than he thinks he does.  Six hours, really?   Along with said editing, we are getting ready to launch a newspaper.  This is a very detailed, involved, work-inducing process.  This is a process we've been working on for nearly 8 months.  It's kind of like birthing a baby, people.  All except for the terrible pain part.  This is not painful.  It is actually really fun.  I'll blog about this once it gets on the ground, because I am a little nervous about it all and don't want to get ahead of myself.  My friend Cat said that the only failure is when we don't take a risk.  These words have been so good for me.  They've encouraged me when I've felt afraid about all of this.  Thank you, Cat!  We're taking a risk.  Risky business!  That's us!  Risky business takers!  Risky business starters!  Maybe just goofy.  Along with editing many, many pictures and starting a newspaper from nothingness, we are also continuing on with our regular work and church life.  Chris works 40+ hours at the salt mine and I work an unknown number of hours, a lot from home, some from my church office, loving all of the children in the world.  When we are not involved in any of the above activities, we are trying to be faithful to go to the gym.  Chris is very good at this.  He gets up at 5AM and goes to do a regimented workout that our Pastor/friend put together for him.  By the way, I think our pastors have to be some of the most health minded people I've ever known.  I think that is very good.  Go Sean and Lori Jo, go!  I am thankful for how they have inspired us to take care of our bodies.  I went and ran/walked a mile and a half and did the eliptical machine thing for about 1/3 of a mile.  It was good.  Now I stink.  So, yes, Chris is doing very well with going to the gym.  I'm going 2-3 times a week.  My goal is 3 times a week.  I have lots of excuses.  "The shorts that I like are not clean; I cannot go."  Chris says, "Put on some of my shorts and GO."  He doesn't think I'm fat.  I think he just gets tired of hearing me whine about not getting to my goal weight and he loves me and doesn't want me to have reason to whine.  I don't deserve him.   "I can't take my phone, therefore I won't have music.  I don't want to go if I can't have music," I say.  "Take my phone and GO," he says.  "I will go, but I won't be happy about it," I say.  "GO and be happy about it," says he.  And so I went and I'm glad I did.  Along with typing and editing and exercising and loving children and answering phones, we are also loving our own little babies.  Oh, how I love these kids.  They are just the sweetest, most precious gifts that God could have ever given to us.  Quinn is convinced we will be having another baby.  She thinks she will have a sister.  And guess what, folks, she will be having a sister.  Someday. Maybe.  I am laughing, as I think of the people who might read this and be tricked into thinking we're having another baby right now. Hahahahaha! It's okay.  I don't like to be tricked either.  I'm sorry.  That's pretty much all that's happening right now.  Loving God, working hard, loving the wonderful family that God has placed us in and given us, trying our best to love people how Jesus does.  A happy, full, life folks.  That is just what I've always wanted, indeed.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Growing Up Lauren.

An impromptu photo shoot in the Swonke house.  Aww, geez.  So dang cute.

This blog has been in the back of my mind for a while and I just now have a chance to sit down and put it in letters.  I have had the worst time in the world growing up.  It's not that my growing up has been bad; it was so very good and that is where the difficulty lies.  A few weekends ago my babies and I went to be with my parents and two of my sisters.  This is one of my favorite things.  While I was there I heard my 14 year old niece giving my 19 year old niece a hard time about the 19 year old having told the 14 year old to quiet down during their dollar store adventure.  "What's happening to you?  Are you growing up or something?", she asked, jokingly.  I remember when my niece and nephews would ask me the same questions.  They couldn't understand why I didn't feel like going outside to rush down the pine straw covered hill on a box when I was home for a weekend from college.  Even though I couldn't seem to shake what was happening inside, I cringed at the thought that I was starting to grow up.  And now, 27 years old, married and two babies, I'm just starting to be okay with being an adult.  I was talking to my Mom a short time ago and said, "I guess I'm grown up now."  Her response was, "Yes, when you have two children and are married, I think that means you're grown up."  I read a poem when I was in UIL at some point in school.  I can't find it, but I remember it was about a little kid that realized that even though she was 12, she was also 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3,2 and 1.  I feel that way pretty much every day of my life.  Even though I'm 27, I feel every other age that has brought me to this point.  Chris said something really profound about all of this.  One day I was crying about growing up, about my Grandparents changing, my Grandpa passing away, my parents having difficult health issues and such.  He said something like this.  "Lauren, it's great that your childhood was so good that you don't want to leave it.  The only thing is, now it's time for us to make our kids lives good like that."  Even though I would say I knew this already, it was like a light bulb went off in the back of my mind.  It was the light bulb that was previously hanging over the darkened room where I went to cry and ask God why it is that we have to grow up.  All the while the answers were right in front of me and I just couldn't see them.  It's time for me to grow up for many reasons, but two of the most precious little round faced reasons are my sweet babies.  They deserve a childhood with wonderful parents that teach them about a loving family, about a God that loves them so viciously that he gave his only Son, about how to live this life and be a blessing, not a bum.  They deserve special times with their grandparents, just like I had.  They deserve sweet visits with their cousins, like we had this weekend.  They deserve golden, country days with their funny little friends.  They deserve everything, every ounce, of me that I can give.  Being a parent to my kids like my parents were to me as a kid is "just what I've always wanted."  And that, my friends, takes me being an adult.  It's okay to grow up.  Those past years don't go away when you cross the threshold of adulthood.  I know that even though I'm 27, I'm also 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1.     

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I always seem to get overwhelmed by the work of serving God.  What video will I use?  What song will we sing?  What activity can I do to be active enough to say that I'm active enough so that He will be pleased with my activity?  Then I remember.  I remember that it's just about Him.  He was a Jewish carpenter that really lived and really suffered and really died and really came back to life.  For me.  He lived here and bled here and died here and rose again and then ascended to heaven.  It's not just a story.  It was for real.  He calls me to love people because I'm loving them for Him.  It doesn't have to be hard work.  He just walked around healing people and loving them on his way through town.  He didn't have a catchy video or a really well written song.  He just loved.  He just loves me.  And I just love Him.  Jesus Christ.  He makes me want to be more like Him every day.  I watched some videos in my video searching tonight.  They are just songs put to videos about the life of Jesus, a curly haired Jewish man.  That Jewish Man was amazing.  I need Him.  I get into a really bad mode where I just need to sit down and watch a video with a pretend Jesus healing sad looking blind folks and trashy prostitutes to remind me that I still need Him.  My God, I need Him.  I hate that I go through some seasons where I feel like I can skate through with just a story book idea of him, rather than loving Him and needing Him so much I just want to cry my eyeballs out.  There's no substitute for knowing Jesus.  There's no activity that fills my soul. Maybe you need to be reminded too.