Monday, May 19, 2014

The Labelers

We live in a society of labelers.
Once everything is labeled we feel more control, and people become nothing more than spices on the pantry shelf
Pepper, cumin, parsley, depressed
We have our personal label makers, and once we're labeled we're supposed to be fixed 
With medication
With support groups 
With diets 
These labels are permanent
They say you can change
But all you're really doing is covering one label with another
"Obsessive" over the top of "fat"
There are good labels and bad labels but they're all self fulfilling 
You tell a child he's a bad reader so he's never going to try to read 
You tell my sister she has anxiety and she has a panic attack
You tell that little girl that she's gonna grow up to be something special so she shoots for it
And beats herself up every time she fails because she knows she's disappointing everyone and their labeled expectations
But what happens when we overcome our labels?
We become outcasts, until someone can find a new label for us
Why do you think there are so many adjectives in the world?
Even doctors are glorified labelers, 
You are your Disease with a Capitol D 
It makes me wonder, what do people label me?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Life as We Know It

Well. I'm going to serve a mission.
For the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
18 months.
In Gilbert Arizona.

Who knew??
Not me!
At least, 6 months ago, I didnt.
I'm going to be a missionary.
And I leave in 2 weeks!!
Oh what a ride it's been and oh what a ride it will be.
So the college life of miss maren lee will be on pause for a little while :)
I have new matters to attend to :)
Anything and Everything I knew about my life has been flipped upside down...
But here's to knowing all this change will be change for the better.

future sister lightheart

miss maren lee

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Do You Believe It?

Tonight my sister sent me a text.
It reads:
"I look in the mirror and all I see is a miserable, disgusting creature staring back at me.
Is that really all that I am?
It has to be.
All people see is the outside, the exterior, the outer layer, and they judge us accordingly.
No one takes time to peel back the layers and discover the blooming rose that wants to burst out of its shell but cannot without help. All they see is the bland layer on the outside that has nothing to do with the sparkling colors inside.
What I see in the mirror is a wall in front of my soul, and it tears me to pieces day by day. 
Nothing can change the way I look. 
I want to scream to them 
 But they stare blankly, as if I am air."

She told me "read this"
so I did.
and I asked her, "Anna, where did you find that?"
she told me "I wrote it."

I dont know that I have ever felt so heartbroken before.

Did I fail as a sister?
Did I fail by not telling my sister ever day "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL".

We are told daily we are beautiful.
But we are told daily that we're ugly.
Which do we choose to believe?

It is each woman's personal quest to find her self worth, but the truth is: It is not hidden.
Christ knows our worth.

I've spent the last hour wishing that I had spent less time worrying about myself and much more time concerned about others.
We need to be the Good Samaritans of self esteem.

I love my sister dearly. She is literally my best friend. (it didnt used to be that way, we used to fight like.. well, sisters.) She needs to know that she is beautiful. But will she believe it?


i love you bets.

miss maren lee <3

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Today I was told that I have been an answer to a prayer. 
But not just one prayer.
A prayer repeatedly pleaded over the space of a lifetime.
In tears she told me she's been waiting her whole life for a friend like me.
She told me the wait was worth it.

It's a feeling like none other, knowing that The Lord has trusted you with such a magnitude of a calling as being an answer to a pleading heart of one of his children.

Another experience regarding revelation:
I was on my way to hang out with friends over the break. I had said a prayer before my departure that I would be able to make wise decisions. Half way down my hill, I had the most terrible feeling, so powerful that I pulled over to the side of the road and could not go any further. After many tears I decided that I instead needed to go home. On my way home, my distraught self for having disappointing my best friends, I was having difficulty making it back. I remember pleading "please, just take me home, I want to go home, please just take me home" repeatedly. As I neared my house, these words suddenly were sung from my mouth:
"Prone to wander, lord I feel it, prone to leave the god I love... Take my heart oh, take and seal it, seal it for my courts above"
Upon my arrival home I received an answer to my own prayer that I have been waiting quite some time for.
It helped me to understand my Book of Mormon professor's teaching that obedience is one of the qualifications of revelation. I obeyed the spirit's promptings to return home, and this my heart was opened.

Lord, lead my feet that I may forever be thy humble servant.

forever seeking answers

miss maren lee

Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Wrap Up.

Holy Cow.
The last few weeks have been INSANE.
It's been over a month since I've posted, and there are a lot of stories and pictures to be shared that are LONG overdue. 

First, I had to say goodbye to two of my best friends for a long time. Little Miss Elizabeth and my Momma Edison whom I love so dearly.
I met both Lizbeths and Edison over the summer. Lizbeths was my roommate, and Edison was our adopted roommate :P She was with us 24/7 and I'm pretty sure she spent more time at our apartment than she did at hers haha. They are both incredible people, and it was quite difficult to say goodbye. Edison will be serving a mission in New Zealand, and Lizbeths will be on her way to Honduras in a couple of months.

This was the last day I spent with them. I was able to check off a bucketlist item in the process :)

Ha. This picture has quite the story to go with it. I posted this picture on instagram saying how incredibly excited I was that it was FINALLY candy cane season. (I really really love candy canes..) Well. A couple days later i was eating my first candy cane, and I freaking BROKE MY TOOTH. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't just a little chip, an entire corner of my molar was broken off. And what's worse? I swallowed the chunk of tooth. I didnt realize the piece had broken off until after I finished the candy cane...
So I had to endure that stupid broken tooth for a couple days before I could go in and get it fixed. The fixing was awful enough, I hate dentists to begin with. But since I had a huge filling in that tooth already, they decided to put a cap over it. If you've never had the lovely experience of getting a crown on your tooth, you should know that they have to drill the entire surface of the tooth in order to get a normal sized cap to fit over it.... I HATE drilling. Whats worse? This cap is only temporary and after I return to Provo I have to get the permanant one cemented on, What's even worse? (you must be thinking, this story can't possibly get any worse, its already awful....)
Just yesterday I had to get my wisdom teeth removed. 
Literally a party in Maren's mouth.

Haha. On a lighter note, I got to spend my thanksgiving break at my Grandma Mickelsen's house. Its basically paradise there. So while I wasn't with my family, It was still a great week. My Grandma takes care of me like none other, she's such an amazing woman. She likes to call me her shadow because I love just following her around :)
We also went up to their ranch where they are building a huge cabin for the whole family. It's beautiful. I got to carve my initials in a tree :)

While I was up in Idaho I did a little photography practice around Idaho Falls. I got this beautiful shot of the Idaho Falls Temple, and decided to print it out for my parents for Christmas since thats where they were married :)

Here is my darling sister, Anna. More photography practice :) 

I make her do odd things when we go on photoshoots. :P

And here's all my cute siblings (minus Jonny, who's in Mexico) all dressed up in our Christmas jammies :)
[Scotty (10), Brian (13), Anna (15), Me, Emily (7)]

Well. It's been an amazing year. I can gladly say I've learned SO much. And had a blast while I'm at it. :)
I've spent my time exploring and teaching piano, coaching gymnastics, graduating high school, creating projects galore, spending tons of time with friends, family, and a boyfriend, strengthening my testimony of the gospel, writing to missionaries, living life, and growning up.
and guess what. I'm a college student!
It's still setting in haha.
I think it's safe to say it's been pretty successful. :) 

expecting much for the next year

miss maren lee

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dont Judge Me

Half and Half.
Half make up, half natural.
Or would you call it
Half fake, half reality
I've always wanted to do a picture like this, half and half, just to see how much of a difference make up actually makes for me.
I think the biggest difference is confidence, honestly.
It had an interesting experience today.
8 guys from our ward got up to sing in Sacrament Meeting,
you could tell they'd put a lot of effort and practice into it, it was a hard song.
It was acapella Be Still My Soul with the words from Alma put to it.
When they started singing, I had chills up and down my body, the spirit in the room was so strong!
But then the girl next to me started making comments...
She had been in choirs and done vocal training throughout high school, so she was being very critical.
It was the craziest thing..
As soon as she started passing judgments, the spirit was gone.
And it was so aggravating!
I so wanted to just appreciate their singing.
(come on, you can ignore a few missed notes and off pitch tones. most of it was amazing.)
But it was almost impossible because of the snide laughter and critical comments right next to me..
It gave me quite the epiphany though.
Casting judgment takes away the spirit.
It is so unchrist-like.
And yet, it's a lesson that I myself need to learn...
Way too often I look at people, analyze their clothes, their hair, their shoes, etc...
I'd say it's human nature, but that's just an awful way to think about it.
And it most definitely shouldn't be an excuse.
One thing I keep trying to remind myself is that all these people at here at BYU.
That means they have brilliant minds
amazing talents
incredible leadership
selfless service
countless challenges
and a love for learning
all under their belt buckle.
It helps me view them differently.
hoping not to be judged
but judging all the same
miss maren lee

Monday, November 11, 2013

Feet on the Ground, Head in the Air

I'm a touchy-feely sort of person.
But not in the sense that you usually know.
I touch so that I can feel.
It's a little odd.
I almost have to touch and feel to reassure myself that this world is real.
Sometimes I have this overwhelming feeling that I don't belong here, and I just want to fly away, never return.

But then I think of all the people here that I love, and my feet can never leave the ground.

And so I stay.
I laugh
I cry
I feel the pain this world has to offer.

Meanwhile I do my best to document my life here.
with pictures
with drawings
with paintings
with words
with ideas
I love having my eyes opened.
I notice things like sun roasted wrinkles and hair died tangerine orange,
The way people in love act
towards each other
So here I am, feet on the ground, head in the air

here to tell stories
miss maren lee