How does it feel to be an even older adult? Isn't life amazing? God has blessed you with such a precious family who adores you and who you love more than anything! I hope that you remember the times they prayed you through a hard test in high school, loved on you during prom, high school graduation, and even supported you in all of your band concerts, student council, and diamond girls activities that you participated in. God knew you needed a family who would be involved and care about every detail! Isn't HE good?
You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.
Oh, the college years! People always told you that these were the best years of your life. You should have believed them because they were! At ICC... Late nights, Mocha Joes from BK, Mexican food, "study" sessions that turned into Bible studies, LIVNG @ the BSU with some of your favorite people, the dock, dropping keys into the 'bigbee and finding them the next day. You met some of the BEST friends you will ever have. Granted, some of those friends you haven't seen in a while BUT, you have memories of their sweet presence in that season of
your life. For such a time as this....
Then, Hotty Toddy, Ole Miss happened. You couldn't wait to move out into an apartment and share the Oxford experience with wonderful people. You had roomates, got a dog, your precious Harper, and enjoy life as an Ole Miss student. Your parents told you to be careful, your BIG brother had people watching out for you, and you enjoyed yourself at the big girl college. Your grades rocked, actually came up from junior college, you started thinking about REALLY becoming a teacher, and you had a blast on Saturdays at the Grove, and Vault Hemingway. :)
You learned lots of life lessons that you had never really had to experience. Money, living with people, paying bills, and staying the same person that you knew you were. God kept you strong and you met people that would impact your life for the better. You spent the Summer before Ole Miss in Montana telling sweet children about Jesus, sharing the Gospel to people who had never heard about what a Bible was, and meeting friends that you still keep in contact with. It was a bitter sweet time in your life and you had a blast BUT don't forget how much you missed your family. It was all worth it though. God blessed!
How about the precious graduation day from Ole Miss? Sitting in your own piece of heaven, the Grove, on a cloudy May day with 1,000s of people watching you receive your diploma that you had worked so hard for? Sitting by 5 of your closest friends, goofing off and trying not become emotional over what you had been through together. Roomate spats, breaking down over Senior Education block, and all the memories of late night binge sessions and snow days that were tons of fun. You could never remember all the WONDERFUl memories you made with those awesome girls, and boys.
Now, August 4, 2011. You became a 1st grade teacher @ Horn Lake Elementary school. You had 27 kids and an assistant. You weren't nervous, remember? You were so excited about what was in store and how you would impact, love, and inspire these children. Keep doing that, Ms. Patton. You can and will! Don't loose your cool, don't yell as much, and keep loving on these kids. Believe me, they need it. You're going to impact kids for the better. Just teach them something, that's all they ask! :) Do what you've always wanted to do!
Alright, Lauren. You've accomplished all of this because of your LORD who loves you more than anything. Hopefully you are married and have all of those precious babies running around that you've always dreamed of. Read back over all of these memories and seasons of your life that you have been through and now that God loves every detail. He lives for the good times and the bad times. He's there through it all. Just believe...
Your past was wonderful and I know that now you look back and have so much more to add to this list.
Your 22 year old self.