A girl named Laina...

I wasn't certain about keeping this tradition alive and forcing myself to 'be real' at least once a week for the whole internet to see.  Then I said to myself... 'Raylene- what do you value?  Honesty, community, transparency, people BEING REAL!'  So here I am... starting Real Ray Wednesdays again...

Today I am going to be real about a girl named Laina.  She is moving back to college tomorrow, so I decided its a great day to tell you a little bit about this beautiful girl.

Let me start by being real with you.. I thought to myself 'Oh, I'd like to meet with Laina some to encourage her and kind of disciple her'.... Wow- Uhhh-- lets just say I'm pretty confident that I learned more than I taught! God is SO good!

Laina has taught me so  God has taught me SO much through Laina, it is unreal.  Talk about a humbling experience... try having someone 7 years younger than you encourage and share wisdom beyond your years!?  Seriously. It happens regularly, and I love feeling humbled by it.

Her beautiful, compassionate heart grips me constantly.  She doesn't just say she loves people... she truly loves them.  She shows love to those around her in such a genuine way, it is so refreshing.  She desires a community that is honest and one where loving one another is a given.  If only I could have been as wise as she is now when I was 19!

Not only has the Lord touched my heart through Laina... He has taught me about art through Laina!  We took a painting class with Scott's mom a few weeks ago downtown Lee's Summit.  Being an art major, I knew Laina would get some great entertainment through attending this class with me. 

*Disclaimer:  If anyone knows me... they know I can't draw worth ANYTHING*  I just assumed painting would be the same... I had never sat down in a chair only to stare at this:           

This was our inspiration picture, called 'The Tree of Life'... so it was neat because the objects in tree represent the fruits of the spirit and I don't remember much about the other symbols.

So little did I know.. that I might have a tiny hint of talent hidden behind that horrible drawing ability:

And the finished product: 

Yup... I'm now a pro.

Ok- so kind of went off on a tangent there... BUT... this girl has a beautiful, God-centered soul that I learn from constantly!  I am excited to watch the Lord mold this young lady into a Godly woman.

Love you, Laina!  We are truly kindred spirits! Can't wait for our next starbucks chat!

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