16 April 2013

One Day Without Shoes 2013

You know I love Toms! The shoes that is. They are comfy, cute, and convenient. They also send a pair of shoes to a child in need -- They call it one for one. Every year, to raise awareness, they host the ONE DAY WITHOUT SHOES.

Last year in October, I went  a whole day without shoes! Raising awareness is good. I know some of us can't take our shoes off, but let's raise awareness of all the children who go barefoot throughout the world.

I may still be chilling around the house, but I can raise awareness through my social media. I will be taking a picture of my feet and sharing it via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Join me! If you would like information: Visit ONE DAY WITHOUT SHOES.

Here are some stats from the ONE DAY WITHOUT SHOES website:




Long-term physical effects include stunted growth, decreased cognitive development, anemia and chronic fatigue.
Studies show that children affected by hookworm are 20% less likely to go to school and earn 40% less in adult life.


Prevention and treatment includes education, medication, improved hygiene and sanitation and protection from soil.

Why Shoes?

Giving Partners like IMA World Health give de-worming medication along with shoes to children, helping them stay healthy with a combination of prevention and treatment.
SOURCE: Bleakley, 2007 & WHO

15 April 2013


Currently, I am... 
Listening: Elevation Church Podcast. I love Steven Furtick! His messages always speak to me!
Reading: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Watching: Downton Abbey Season 3. I am on the last episode, it makes me sad.
Thinking about: My to-do list!
Anticipating: Tomorrow! I have a big surprise!
Wishing: That Spring would come back!
Sipping: Mexican Hot Chocolate - My new favorite warm drink!
Praying: For everyone at the Boston Marathon!
Making me happy:  Well, it's not this weather! My tax refund!

13 April 2013

Beautiful Battlefields a Book Review

Book: Beautiful Battlefields
Author: Bo Stern
Rating: ★★★★★

This book was captivating. It talks about the battles we face and how to live through them. Bo Stern, a woman that has had her fair share of battles, didn't know she would be fighting for her families life, when her husband was diagnosed with ALS. Bo may have bruises and wounds, but she is not defeated! "This battle is not destroying us. In fact, in the midst of this trauma and turmoil, God's power to use every bad thing for our good is making us more beautiful than we have ever been."

Bo walks through practical ways to fight. Her faith carries her through the war that is raging on against her family, and she is learning to trust God even when all seems impossible. She is not afraid of sharing her blunders and doubts, her failures and heart issues. But she is always pointing back to her Savior. The One who holds all in His hands.

Her story is real, so there is credibility. She shares stories of countless others who have gone through battles. What makes her story so unique is her writing style. I felt like I was sitting in a coffee shop the entire time chatting it up with an old friend who had sound and biblical advice!

If you're going through a battle or not, you should read it. Since I have a personal connection with Bo (pastor's sister in-law), it may seem that I am biased. And I may be. But, now I can share her story with those that may need to hear it!

Bo also blogs! She shares up to date about her husband, ALS, being a grandmother and mother, and so much more!

12 April 2013

Reading Update

  • Tribulation Force 
  • Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien (on nightstand)
  • The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis (reading)
  • Crazy Love by Francis Chan (reading)
  • The Book That Transforms Nations by Loren Cunningham (reading)
  • Beautiful Battlefields by Bo Stern (Check out review here)
  • The Book of Judges from The Bible
  • Relevant Jan/Feb (on nightstand)
  • Women's Health Current Issue (reading)
As you can see, I haven't gotten very far, but I'm hoping to get a massive amount done this week! The Horse and His Boy I'm restarting because it's been awhile since I started it. But, it should only take one sitting. The Fellowship of the Ring may take a few months. I also picked up Redeeming Love from the Library. I have a reading addiction! 

What have you been reading?

11 April 2013

Goals for the Next 6 Months Part 2

This is the second post of a 2-part series.
Check out the first part here:

Yesterday we talked about the mountains I will be climbing. I covered weight and my blog. Let's see where today brings us.

Mountain #3: Stuff (yes I labeled it stuff).
  1. I have accumulated so much crap. That’s the best way to put it. I’ve gone through 75% of my room cleaning out all the junk. 
    1. Things are sitting in boxes in my closet. I’m planning on having a garage sale this summer. Then I can save money and get rid of all my wonderful “treasures” I no longer need.
    2. This makes it easier to “breathe” in my room. Slowly my items were suffocating me. I will expand on this later.
  2. Goal – Junk completely gone by SEPTEMBER.
Mountain #4: Sewing
  1. There is no reason why I shouldn’t be sewing. I have everything to do it! The only thing getting in the way is my apathy.
    1. I will be creating a list of things I’d like to make with the materials I have and work at it.
    2. With junk cleared out, I will have more space to work and create.
  2. Goal – Have at least 3 garments made by SEPTEMBER.
Mountain #5: Guitar
  1. God called me to play guitar when I was in Cambodia. I made many excuses when I was back in the states:
    1. I don’t have an acoustic, no time
    2. Well, now I have one and the time!
  2. Goal – Be able to play in front of an audience by SEPTEMBER

All of these mountains I’ve been battling for years. Ignoring the massiveness of them all. Pretending they don’t exist, or ignoring the fact that I have “problems.”

Kicking apathy one mountain at a time! What are some mountains you need to climb? I’d love to hear from you, let’s encourage each other!

Lyric - Nothing I Hold Onto // United Pursuit

10 April 2013

Goals for the Next 6 Months Part 1

I have many goals or as I'm calling them "mountains” to climb. I like this analogy, because if I want to accomplish my goals, I'm going to have to climb to the top of the mountain. So many times, I just chill in the middle of the mountain, not even trying to climb but stupidly staying in the same place.

This happens in all facets of our lives, spiritually, physically, mentally, etc.

A few weeks back, I wrote in my journal (which has been missing my pencil these last few days - post about why we lose our routine to come later) talking about some goals or "mountains" I'd like to climb. I will go into more detail throughout the weeks, highlighting different ones each week. But it's always nice to share and have some accountability.

 I didn't want to share them until I had started living them out, I wanted to already be on the mountain and not just staring at it.

Without further ado, here are the mountains I must climb if I ever want to see the other side.

Mountain #1 - Current Weight
  1. I've struggled with this one for as long as I can remember. I've also been to this mountain, tried to climb, failed, walked away, and pretended I never experienced the whole fall.
    1. Now, I know what you're saying, Lauren, "weight isn't important," "love the way you are," "we don't look at you differently." Thankfully I'm not obese, nor does my weight show as much as it should. But, I am at an uncomfortable weight. I'm overweight and I know it. Let me address those three statements I just made:
                                                     i.     "weight isn't important" – false, weight is important. Size is what's not important. Size should never make you feel inferior, bad, or big. But, your weight tells you how healthy you are. But, weight isn't the real issue, it’s your BMI! Get it checked to see where you are. Being in the obese and overweight category is bad for your health and leads to so many complications.
                                                      ii.     "love the way you are" – I do love the way I am. But I want to love the “way I am” twenty years from now!
                                                        iii.     “we don’t see you differently” – Whenever someone says that to me, I laugh because, honestly I don’t care what others think. I live under the standards of a Higher Being. Which leads me to my second statement.
    1. God has told us our bodies are a temple.
      Which means I can’t be treating it like a dump. I haven’t always treated my body well, inside or out, I’m a steward, and that means being responsible.
    2. God specifically has told me to get into gear. I’ve been called to the nations, so I should be able to function in all of them. Because I started getting into gear before I left for Cambodia, it was easier to walk long distances, but not all terrains are created equal.
    2. Goal – Lose x amount of weight by SEPTEMBER.

Mountain #2: My blog – Ren Was Here
  1. This has been another frequent topic of discussion on my blog. I go in spurts of writing. Consistently one week, then I’m MIA for the rest of the month.
    1. This is getting easier. I have over a month’s worth of material to work with. I actually have filled out my calendar. It’s exciting. I really want to get this blog off the ground.
    2. I love writing, and one day I will write a book. Until then, I can share what’s on my mind on this blog. I’ve come to the point that I’m writing whether people read it or not. I use to be in it to “win it.” Gather as many followers as fast as possible. But, that’s not what this blog is about. It’s about my relationship with Jesus. I’m not ashamed of my faith and I want the world to know! So I can encourage others and be open and honest!
  2. Goal – Blog consistently.

Check out tomorrow for more mountains!

07 April 2013


Currently, I am... 
Listening: Hillsong United Zion via Spotify. This album is top-notch. Wish they were touring close to NE!
Reading: Beautiful Battlefields by Bo Stern. I was suppose to have a book review out on Thursday, it's just taking me longer than I thought to get through it.
Watching: Downton Abbey Season 3. Finally. I've given up most of my shows, but I do love my british dramas!
Thinking about: The week. Need to make a schedule. Finishing touches on my room. Work on some projects.
Anticipating: Warm weather!
Wishing: That budgets did themselves. 
Making me happy:  Jesus. He's not my current, but my always

This week has been a good week. I wasn't planning on posting. But I've got the writing itch. I'm ok with that. I've been writing in my journal almost everyday for the past three weeks, and it's helped me remember a few things! 


05 April 2013

The Art of Letter Writing

Before I came back to the states, I was feeling a tug. Just a small one at first. A tug to stay connected to the friends I had just made. A tug to re-kindle friendships long lost forgotten. And the tug to keep up with my friends where I live.

But how? When social media is becoming more and more about "self" and less and less about being social. When sending a text doesn't quite cut it. When the person never answers on the other end. What do you do?

As a child my favorite part of my day was getting mail. I would sometimes look out the window and wait for the postman (or woman) to deliver the mail. I loved perusing through catalogues, devouring magazines, and reading answered letters. Now all I get are a few credit card offers and occasionally an unwanted catalogue.

I love writing and being written to. So, I have picked up the art again. Because it can be an art. I love writing in cursive and block letters. Decorating the envelopes and tossing them into the mailbox. I tried a few years ago, joining a few pen pal "clubs". And I even made a few friends. But it would simmer after awhile because there was no deeper connection.

Watching Jane Austen films didn't help the bug. They made me itch and long for a pen. Longing to fill blank spaces with musings and soliloquies.

But, I'm determined to keep in touch with my friends. I've been a poor example in not returning notes to even the closest of friends. Sending them notes, letters, and postcards on a whim or planned.

You don't need much to write. Is there someone you know who could use a thoughtful note? Surprise them. Looking for fun stationary? Support someone on Etsy! Or like me, you've found a whole supply of unused cards that you can fill with thoughts and dreams.

I hope this has inspired you!

03 April 2013

The Fear of Skinny White Jeans

I don't have many fears. Ok, that's a lie, there are a few things I fear. As a child I was afraid of Michael Jackson (thanks to the Thriller video) and ET (I swear he was going to touch me with that creepy finger).

Enough about 80s pop culture. My biggest fear these days is wearing white. I love wearing white. It looks so clean and crisp, even when it may be a bit wrinkled. But, I don't have good luck with white. My shirts get dingy, my pants always end up having a pen mark or worse a random stain that you have no idea where it came from.

I bought a pair of white skinny ankle jeans. I love them, they are cute, comfy, and most important - stretchy! But, there are some big down factors into wearing these adorable pants.

  1. I become paranoid when I wear them. I mean completely paranoid. One of the first times wearing them it was snowing and I accidentally splashed muddy water onto them while walking to my car. I wasn't devastated, but I was worried that it wouldn't come out. It came out by the way!
  2. I become paranoid that maybe I don't look good in skinny white jeans! As a girl who is not a size 4 or smaller, I want to wear the current styles, but I don't want to look like I'm trying to hard, but the moment I put these jeans on, I knew they were going into my closet!
  3. I become paranoid that I'm wearing it with the wrong shirt and shoes. Pairing white jeans is very important! I usually wear a denim shirt and a pair of flats or Toms. I can also dress them up and get away with wearing them at church.
I'm wearing these white jeans today... I hope I don't ruin them!
Do you wear white jeans? Do you like them? What is your biggest clothing fear?

02 April 2013

Having the "Perfect" Quiet Time

Quiet Times are so important inmy life. I can always tell if I haven't had a quiet time that day, my attitudeis all over the place and I have nothing to bring to the day.

Jesus is the reason we should bejumping out of bed! He should be the first thing we think about in the morning,the last thing when we lay our heads on our pillows, and should fill in all themoments in between.

Now, everyone does their quiettimes, devotions, or bible studies differently, and they are called differentnames. But essentially it's our time spent alone with God.

I'm no expert, but for the past 5months, I've had a consistent quiet time. It may have changed as the monthsprogressed but the outcome was still the same. Being in His presence.

You don't need a lot of tools,but here are some of the things I use for quiet time:

  1. laptop, tablet, or phone – Iuse youversion.com for my Bible. You can go right to the website on your computer or use an app for any apple or android device. It has every translation you will ever want orneed. If you don't use a computer or electronic device,get a Bible you like. If you are wanting an in-depth study of the Word, Isuggest a Study Bible. The Life Application Study Bible in the NLT version is great!On my wish list is the New Spirit Filled Life Application Bible.
  2. translation you arecomfortable with – Honestly the NKJV and NIV are my least, but everyone needs tofind the one that works for them. I use ESV, NASB, and NLT.
  3. notebook/journal – When I wasoverseas, I used my cellphone to document my quiet times. But, I prefer to use a notebook. One of my favorite brands is Christian Art Gifts,they have inexpensive leather journals with verses at the bottom. I love them,they come in all sizes, colors, and covers. There you can write your prayersand praises, what you’ve read, and your reactions. I also use the same journal for mypersonal musings – then I can see my spiritual growth.
  4. pen or pencil – I lovepencils. I make a lot of mistakes when I write, so it’s nice to erase and startover,
  5. devotion book or plan – JesusCalling is a great devotional book and it gives you verses to go along with thedevotion. It is also an app for apple and android. I use that book from time to time. My favorite are the plans onyouversion.com. I follow the #shereadstruth plans. It goes along with the She Reads Website. This website is a wonderful community of women encouraging one another to spend time with God.
  6. favorite worship music – tired of your music? Usespotify to find new albums or use their radio feature. Pandora is also a good choice.

Whether you have 15 minutes or anhour. Sit down first in prayer, praising God and inviting the Holy Spirit intoyour time. Then sit down and read the devo/word. Write down anything that stoodout, a verse, a quote from the devotion, something God is pressing upon your heart. Sit and meditate on that before movingon. Listen for God’s Voice. I love to end with a worship song lifting my voicein praise to God.

I am also reading through thebible as if I’m reading a novel. I’m not studying per se, but reading it forpleasure.

Now, my quiet time and biblestudy are two different things. My quiet times are solely for me to be withGod. Whereas my Bible study is where I learn and study the Word. For my Bible Study, I am reading through the entire Bible. My Bible reading is at a muchfaster pace than my Bible Study.

Now if your head is spinning, don’tlet it spin. This is just how I have my quiet time. And sometimes I walk awaywith it in wonder and awe. Other times I walk away with “where were You, God?” There are times where I spend a couple of minutes on my phone or an hour pouring over my journal. But I always learn and am continually growing to His likeness.

How do you do your quiet time? 

01 April 2013

Looking Forward in April

Happy Monday!

I love Mondays and the first of the months, especially when they coincide!

God is so good. My Easter Sunday was very nice and restful. Had a wonderful church service and a trip up to Omaha for lunch at PF Changs. Then a quick trip to Whole Foods for gelato!

From my devotions or quiet time this morning!
My sister and I took a lazy afternoon watching Anne of Green Gables! I love that movie so much. Megan Follows is such a great actress!

I have a lot planned for April. A lot of personal goals which I will share and some great topics on this blog! I will be talking about some of the causes I support, a recap on my two weeks with only water, what God is and has been doing in my life, and much more!

Tomorrow, I will be sharing about having the perfect quiet time. Jesus is so awesome and the more time I spend in His Word and pouring out my heart to Him, the more He pours into my own heart! I will share some great tools and what I do during my quiet time.

This week I will also share on why I don't wear white pants and why I finally bought a pair! I will be sharing some thoughts on a book I'm currently reading "Beautiful Battlefields" by the beautiful Bo Stern. To end this week, I will be writing on the art of letter writing.

What did you do for Easter? I would love to hear, also add a link to your blog, so I can visit!

Also, I blog on my tumblr too! seeking-jesus.tumblr.com - This is my daily blog on my devotions and what God is speaking to me that day and at ren-was-here.tumblr.com - I just share what's going on daily in my life! Check them both out!
I also have instagram @lmwilliams2009 and twitter @ren_was_here