A Surprise Rest

This week is the first in months that we didn’t have a single commitment on a week night. I won’t lie, when I realized this on Monday I legitimately squealed with delight and hurried to call Jacob to tell him. There’s something so freeing about a schedule totally open for slow moments, like grocery shopping with Jacob, cooking dinner together three nights in a row and sitting in our living room with the breeze circling through open windows.

It’s not that we don’t love what keeps us so busy, but sometimes it’s just nice to have a break. This week has reminded me of a slower pace of life, one that often and so quickly gets squandered with all the things we have to be doing to get ahead, be present, make an impact, etc. 
Well, this week I’m enjoying making an impact right here in my quiet home, right here in my marriage. We’ve enjoyed laughs, home-cooked food, and each other’s company. So thankful.

Happy weekend, I hope you can find some moments to enjoy the gift of rest.


In Another Life I’d Be…

In another life, I’d be a rockstar. Every once in a while I daydream about singing for a living. Touring, getting all glammed up, recording in the studio and having a “fan club” (don’t judge). This usually gets stirred up whenever we watch The Voice, but I’ve even blogged about that secret dream before. It’s been deep inside me for a long time. But, then reality kicks in and I realize how hard it would be to have a family and deep community in that always-on-the-go lifestyle.

In another life, I’d be an explorer. The free spirit in me often gets stamped out by my type A personality, but it’s in there. Sometimes I dream about just taking off and backpacking through the world. Oh, the life of exploration – isn’t it enticing? Instead, we’re going to explore the 48 peaks in NH over 4000 ft. That’s the closest we can get for now ;).

In another life, I’d have taken my horse with me to college. There are days, especially early in the morning after a rain when the air feels cool and smells so clean, that just take me back to the days I’d spend at the barn growing up. I miss that life often. Sometimes I wish I had taken it more seriously and ridden for my college’s equestrian team. Of course, that means I wouldn’t have gone to Milligan, wouldn’t have met Jacob, and wouldn’t be in NH now… so I’m glad I didn’t. I love the way the Lord lead me to this life, but, you know, in another world.. ūüėČ

In another world, I’d be a published author. No, my blog doesn’t count. I’d love to write a book. There is something about putting words on paper that helps me reach into the deepest parts of myself that I just can’t get anywhere else. Maybe some day this one will become a reality in this world. We shall see.

It blows my mind to sit down and think about all the paths that led me here to this point. So many things happened just at the right time to get me here. I could have chosen the paths above, and many more variations, but I’m here and I’m happy. I’m thankful for where I am – and how God has patiently walked me through my bad decisions in life, but also protected me from making more. He is good, and I’m ready and buckled in to see where he takes us in the years ahead.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. {Psalm 23}

Looking back at all the turns my life has taken, I’m thankful for where he has led me.

the story behind our cross-country move.

So I’ve realized lately that many of you have no idea why we moved or the story behind it – and it’s so important to me that I document this somewhere. I’ve been trying to write this post for three weeks now, but I just haven’t reached the point where I feel like I’ve fully portrayed the emotions and excitement behind it all. For my sanity, though, I’m giving it my best shot. It’s quite the novel, but it’s ours¬†and I love it.

About once a week, I remember how crazy it is that we actually live in New Hampshire. Before Jacob started the interview process for this new job back in the fall, I can pretty confidently say New Hampshire only crossed my mind when I got the hankering to sing the state song I learned in fifth grade. When he first mentioned he got a call from a pastor up here, I laughed. I didn’t give it much consideration, partly because it seemed crazy, but mostly just because I didn’t want to give the opportunity too much weight yet. It was too early and it wasn’t just a simple move down the street, you know?

The job process slowly moved along, with phone interviews here and there and eventually a very long¬†questionnaire about our lives and several of Jacob’s theological stances. Very few people knew about the opportunity, still, because we thought it was too early and too crazy to tell people just yet. We were almost constantly thinking about it, though. And praying. So much prayer.

It was at this point I started feeling a little sad because I thought I’d have to quit my new job I’d only had for three or four months so far. I loved what I did and what the company stands for – it was a great job to get right out of college and I had already grown to love my coworkers dearly! I shared my life with those people, so you can imagine how difficult it was to keep my over-sharing mouth shut.

At this point, though, my parents didn’t even know about the opportunity! We weren’t sure it was serious enough to tell them and, well, New Hampshire felt a lot¬†farther away from Ohio than Tennessee did… and we weren’t ready to give them that shock quite yet. Looking back, I wish we had clued them in a little sooner, but we held back because we didn’t want to put them through those emotions if we didn’t end up moving.

But then the pastor called and said they’d like to fly us up to visit. And that’s when we realized things were serious¬†and we wished we had already told my parents. But the moment we did tell them was so, so sweet. We Facetimed them together and shared the story and our excitement. They couldn’t have been more supportive. They prayed with us for our visit and the decisions to be made – both for us and the church – and told us how proud they are of us! Needless to say, I cried and felt a surge of excitement as our trip couldn’t come quicker.

We visited at the beginning of December and were absolutely blown away by the Church. The people were incredible – so down to earth and welcoming… and devoted lovers of Christ. It was a packed weekend full of events and dinners and great conversations with many (soon-to-be) new friends and coworkers. After every single meeting or event, we left with the calm confirmation that this would be our new home. We were pumped up about how much God is moving here and using this church to love this city!! We were so exhausted, though, that we hardly talked in our alone time the first two nights! Any chance we had to sleep, we slept.

But the night before we were scheduled to fly home, we both confidently said we would be crazy to say no. We prayed again and went to bed with giddy, excited spirits. The next morning we met with the lead and executive pastors to “debrief” from the weekend and they offered Jacob the job. Although we knew we wanted to make this church and city our new home, we thought about it, prayed about it, and sought counsel from our parents for a few days.

Later that week, Jacob officially accepted the position as Student Pastor and we started the process of figuring out how to move across the country. We planned to move at the end of January, so we needed to quickly give our time at our current jobs. Both of us gave our time much earlier than two weeks, because we were in situations where that was most appropriate. Chickfila was so sad to see Jacob go – it was really fun to see how appreciated and loved he was there.

And although I was extremely excited for this new adventure, I was very sad to say goodbye to my new job and dreading¬†the process of interviewing for new jobs. The day came when I had to tell my boss we were moving, though. I asked him to talk, shut his office door, and told him we were moving. I’m so emotional, I attempted¬†to keep it together and not cry, but I’m sure he could tell I was on the verge. He was so supportive and told me how they would be sad to see me go, but he knew I’d move on to bigger and better things eventually.

But then he asked if I’d be willing to work remotely for a little while, to help with the transition while they looked to fill my position. I didn’t tell him at the time, but I was kind of secretly hoping for that possibility. I was filled with excitement and gratitude¬†that I wouldn’t have to search for a new home and¬†a new job all at once. I could see my stress levels deflating immediately.

All throughout this process, God opened door after door, leading us to New Hampshire. Even though moving across the country is a scary thing, I wasn’t scared. He provided us with two jobs. We knew he was providing an amazing church family to welcome us in and love us. He provided a temporary housing situation for us while we looked for a new apartment. And the place we have now is so perfect for us – we needed to wait to find it.

Now we are 3 months in to living in New Hampshire – and we are still loving it. My “temporary” remote job has even morphed into a “keep as long as I want” temporary remote job. God has provided for us abundantly in every department and I seriously sometimes just can’t even believe it. He is so good, friends. Even the times when I was unsure and doubted that where we were in that moment¬†was right, he provided a way. He filled in the gaps. He connected the dots.

I’m so excited for what is to come. We are finally settling into a routine and feeling like this city really is our home. I’m ready to embrace it, roll up my sleeves and get to work.

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. – 1 Corinthians 3:6-7

This verse has been running through my mind often lately. I’m asking God to use our time here – to use us to plant seeds and water seeds, but even more I’m asking him to make things grow.

Thanks for hanging with me all the way through this story. I wish I could have articulated the moments of joy and trust a little more eloquently, but sometimes I can’t translate those feelings into the right words.¬†He is so good, my friends. Thanks for your support and encouragement through the beginning of this journey we’re on!

I walked on water this weekend.

Frozen water, anyway. This past weekend we took our youth group to a camp by this beautiful lake in New Hampshire. Weekends away do such good things for my soul. Of course, getting ready for weekends away typically doubles my stress level, but once we’re there.. it’s like the rest of the world that keeps me so busy just fades away.

Weekends like these remind me of several things I often forget.

1. The world doesn’t revolve around Lauren Albrecht. As much as I live day-to-day thinking it does… it doesn’t. This reminder brings all the so totally important tasks that MUST be completed RIGHT THIS SECOND to a much lower level of importance. Really, this reminder tells me all I do isn’t about me. All I do should be about Him.

2. God is so much bigger than my little world. I stood on a gigantic frozen lake for the first time ever. It was eery and made me anxious at first because of the great danger that comes if you fall through. And even though I knew the lake was so thick with ice that wouldn’t happen, I couldn’t help but realize how small I am in comparison to God’s creation. I stood there surrounded by a large body of water, great big trees and mountains in the distance. He created all of that and more, much farther than my eye could see.

We serve an awesome, big God who does marvelous things. One of those marvelous things is that no matter how great he is and how small we are in the span of eternity, he loves us. He cares about our small lives and is present in them. Standing on the lake, surrounded by his creation, I felt so humbled and so thankful for that great reminder.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel… -2 Timothy 1:8-1

You all blew me away

Thank you all so much for all the love, support, encouragement and prayer you have poured over us after our announcement yesterday! I am overwhelmed and blown away by all of your responses. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

To say we are excited, overwhelmed, anxious and nervous is an understatement. And somehow we’re feeling all of those things at once. Part of me wants our move date to hurry up and get here so we can get started! And another part yearns to soak up every second where we are now.

God started this journey in me quite some time ago, I think. He brought me to a new church a little over a year ago and it was a hard transition for me. I didn’t want to leave the church that had become home to me throughout college. I didn’t want to leave the community of people who housed me over the summers, invited me into their homes weekly and shared their honest lives with me. I didn’t want to start over and build community from scratch again. Really, I was just convinced that what I had was the best I could get and I wanted to hold on with a firm grip. I’m not very proud of that.

But we knew God would use and grow and stretch Jacob in preparation for student ministry. In this church he could exercise his gifts and be mentored and given opportunities to grow in leadership. We knew God wanted us there, but that didn’t make it any easier for me in the beginning.

I was stubborn and selfish and very judgmental. It was difficult for me to put myself out there to begin creating new relationships. But, over and over again¬†God showed me that he is faithful. He showed me he is for me and he is in those people and that community. He sent so many of them to minister to me, and I don’t even think they know the depths of their impact on me. Over the past year, he has proven to me time and again that he is more than trustworthy and he is present. He is present in so many churches not only in this city, but across all the nations. He is in those places and it is good.

So a year and a few months later, I praise God that I can look back and see how he grew me, despite my own efforts to be stagnant. I praise him that he blessed me again and again, despite my sinful attitude. I can praise him for teaching me it isn’t all about me or my preferences, but about him and his glory.

And today I’m celebrating his faithfulness to us. Despite my determination to be blind to the ways he was working in my church family, he peeled my eyes open and showed me truth. He did that over and over, patiently and lovingly proving me wrong. Today I can joyfully call them my family and express sincere thanksgiving for all the ways they have blessed and ministered to me.

Today I’m celebrating the families we have at Redeemer Community Church, my home away from home family, and Crossroads Christian Church, the family who has been so gracious and welcoming to me. I’m celebrating the newfound faith and hope that we will have family no matter where we go, because God is faithful and he provides.

God has changed my heart and mind so much over the last year. He has shown me that I’m often wrong and need to repentantly choose him instead of myself.

He has truly taught me, that even when I am faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.

And thank you, again, for loving us and praying for us. Your support and encouragement mean the world to me and God has blessed me so much through you. I can’t say thanks enough.

P.S. Don’t forget you can still link up with The Girl Between the Lines this week! We shared our go-to recipes and I found some GREAT ones to try this month. Check it out and link up if you want to share yours!

And check out these ladies:


I have been out of town for the past three weekends in a row. So last night, when I had two hours to paint my nails, drink some homemade hot chocolate from my sweet friend Lauren and rest… it was glorious. I will never understand why I let rest be the first priority to throw on the back burner when I know how great and life-giving it is.

Busyness always sucks me in.

But! I do have some very exciting news for all of you!!!

Surprise!!! We are going on an adventure! Jacob has been offered an awesome job as a student pastor and we are so excited. We have been praying for God to provide a job where Jacob can do what he is passionate about for a long time, and he has absolutely blown all of our hopes and dreams out of the water on this one. We are both so excited and anxious for this new season of ministry and change!

Please pray for us as we prepare to move in just over a month… I want our time left in Tennessee to be intentional and filled with friends and laughter and thanksgiving. He has given us so much here and grown and stretched us beyond belief. I can only imagine what is to come in New England.

Here’s to change and unexpected surprises!