Saturday, November 23, 2013

so, that was disappointing.

wow-- what happened tonight, baylor?
that was our shot, right?
national championship dreams-- gone.
hooooollllyyy wow... this isn't the baylor team we were expecting.
at least our colors aren't orange and black.
at least we live in texas. they have to stay in oklahoma.

i hate to admit that all of these thoughts crossed my mind tonight. for baylor nation, losing to oklahoma state felt somewhat like a giant slap to the face, but The Lord reminded me of something as i watched/screamed at the TV while bryce petty missed that snap in the beginning of the 4th quarter.

hold up, haley. keep things in perspective. you serve a God who is far more sovereign than baylor football. baylor wins? He is good. baylor loses? He is still good. we have the huge blessing of being able to attend baylor university, and having a football team full of studs is just an added bonus. while i am just as disappointed as the next fan, (texts to my boyfriend and i quote: "WHAT THE HECK IS ILLEGAL TOUCHING?!?! .. crying. .. I'm going to hit something.") all that matters at the end of the day is that our King is still on His throne and we find our identity in Him-- not how well our beloved bears do on a given saturday. sic 'em.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


only three words can summarize my first month in waco: GRATEFUL. FULLNESS. JOY. praise the Lord!

exactly a month ago, my heart was anxious about leaving my family to go to college again, and not just college-- a completely new college. even as my mom and i made the trip to texas together, i was a mixture of excited and nervous. what did Jesus have in store for me in waco? i could only pray and try to affirm what i knew about the Lord-- he is faithful, he's never leaving me, and he is good.

well y'all, let me tell ya what. his faithfulness has knocked my socks off and rocked my world in the best way possible. my heart is SO full. i have felt the Lord's peace consistently-- the peace that passes all understanding. his presence saturates this campus and he is moving.

he is continuing to stretch me to have more and more faith and is showing me there are lessons to be learned in the discomfort. once again, i am in a position of relying solely on the Lord. in the times of joy, i rejoice and trust him. in the times of loneliness, i still rejoice and trust him. he has led me here, and he hasn't failed me yet!

my goal for this year is to live life ABUNDANTLY and LOVE people extravagantly. everyone has a story, everyone has passions and things that make them who they are. everyone wants to be heard and known and loved. and i hope to never stop being captivated by the creator of all of my favorite things  and the ways he personally shows me he loves me (i'm lookin at you, sunsets/friends/family/queso/naps). it is SO well with my soul. :)

"i want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. and i don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. i want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. i want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and i want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad he gave life to someone who loves the gift." -shauna niequist

Saturday, July 13, 2013

the adventure continues

it's incredible to me that God maps out our entire lives before we are born, knowing each and every turn, bump, valley and mountain we will make our way through. before i was born, he knew the number of hairs on my head, how tall i was going to be, what i would weigh, what my strengths and weaknesses would be and what would make my heart do flips of joy. he knew the exact moment i would realize i can't do it on my own and let him take over my life.

he knew where i'd go to high school, he knew where i'd go to college, and he knew i would join tri delta. he would know that i'd fall in love with the university of mississippi at age 15, have my mind dead set on going there, and ultimately end up transferring to baylor university. he knew that it would take me until age 19 to figure out that I'M SO NOT IN CONTROL OF MY LIFE-- and that seriously rocks.

it makes me simultaneously freak out and be at peace when i think about how my plans aren't usually God's plans. on one hand, i like to know what's going to happen and when i don't know, i stress out. but on the other hand, my heart is at rest-- my very best plans aren't even on the same scale of the wonderful things my heavenly Father has in store for me. #gojesusgojesusgo

i took my first visit to ole miss the fall of my sophomore year of high school and never looked back. i know my friends were beyond annoyed with how much i talked about it-- the grove, the boys, the campus, the city... i mean come on. what more does a 15 year old girl need? i was also the first one in our class to know where she was going to college. the possibility of me going somewhere other than ole miss was never a possibility. my dad made me apply to baylor, but he couldn't even get me out of the car for a visit (thank youuuu, regents/freshman year mission trip to waco.) i got a big scholarship too-- i can still hear my dad saying, "haley.. are you SURE you don't want to go to baylor..?"

one night towards the end of the school year, i had a freak out. what if i wasn't supposed to go to ole miss? what if i was actually supposed to be at baylor? i surely couldn't turn back now-- ole miss is the school! i don't know why i had a freak out that night, but looking back, it makes me giggle. even if i missed the mark the first time and went to mississippi when i should've gone to baylor right off the bat, the Lord's plans are the ones that are ultimately established. only God knows if i missed the mark or not, but i learned so much during my freshman year about loving others. i learned to embrace the uncomfortable and the loneliness and how to deal with the awkwardness (semi-well), and i made such sweet sweet friends. i'm beginning to develop a more adventurous spirit, too. most of all, though, i have learned that this life is never perfect. things aren't always going to go according to plan, and i need to chase after new adventures with Jesus with childlike faith and a twinkle in my eye. even though i don't know what the road ahead of me looks like, He does know, and it is good-- and that's enough for me. following Him to waco, texas is the new adventure, y'all.. he is gracious; he will provide.

"every day God invites us on the same type of adventure. it's not a trip where he sends us a rigid itinerary, he simply invites us. God asks us what it is he's made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world he made. and then, leaning over to us, he whispers, 'let's go do that together." | bob goff

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

whose are we?

i had a sweet sweet friend send me some encouragement this morning :)

"look at your life and see how you have filled its emptiness with people. as a result they have a stranglehold on you. see how they control your behavior by their disapproval. they hold the power to ease your loneliness with their company, to send your spirits soaring with their praise, to bring you down to the depths with their criticism and rejection. take a look at yourself spending almost every waking moment of your day placating and pleasing people, whether they are living or dead. you live by their norms, conform to their standards, seek their company, desire their love, dread their ridicule, long for their applause, meekly submit to the guilt they lay upon you; you are terrified to go against the fashion in the way that you dress or speak or act or even think. and observe how even when you control them you depend on them and are enslaved by them. people have become so much a part of your being that you cannot even imagine living a life that is unaffected or uncontrolled by them."

we have to remember that HE has already approved of us and we are accepted by Him because of what He has already done on the cross. His approval is all that we need. how much good is left undone because of our fear of the opinion of others? the strokes and scorn of our peers have become more important than the approval of Jesus.

we are HIS and our approval is in Him alone.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

learning to be content, whatever the circumstances

"i am not saying this because i am in need, for i have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. i know what it is to be in need, and i know what it is to have plenty. i have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. i can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." -philippians 4:11-13

listening to the apostle paul talk about how he is content in whatever his circumstances may be is absolutely amazing. paul's life was filled with anything but positive circumstances. he lived a very difficult life, filled with prison sentences, physical abuse, misunderstandings and abandonment by friends - yet he was still able to say that he was content. he learned contentment, and so can we.

as i've posted about before, one of the biggest things i struggle with is worry. it's not an unusual thing for humans to struggle with, but it is still a tool of the devil. Jesus commands us continually not to worry, and worry is the opposite of faith. when i worry and try to control my life, it's essentially me telling Him that i don't trust that His plan for my life is best. i'm reading right now about contentment and anxiety, and some of the thing i've read smacked me upside the head...

God doesn't need our help. my head obviously knows this, and i can try to convince my heart of it too. but can my heart actually settle in that fact? one of the things that i read recently that was an eye opener was this: "it's our 'helping God out' that leads to an anxious heart. when we try to take over and control what happens, we take our focus off the One who is in control and put our eyes on our circumstances." if i am constantly trying to manipulate my circumstances to what i think is best, i am going to be in a perpetual state of worry when things aren't working out in my time frame and in the way i think is best suitable.

how can i learn to be content with my circumstances? as a college student i am often looking forward to the next big thing, next opportunity, next opened door, or next "sign" that will lead me towards what i will ultimately be doing. everyone has circumstances that appear to be prison bars, but the Lord has been teaching me that the posture of my heart outweighs my circumstances. He wants me to be content in my circumstances right now - not when they improve. the book talks about how there are two parts to learning how to be content in our circumstances, our part and God's part.

philippians 4:6 says, "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." or another translation: "don't worry about anything, instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank him for his answers." we are commanded to have nothing to do with worry and pray about everything, but i am the worst about this. i worry about everything and try to pray about it as best i can. when faced with adverse circumstances, we all have a choice to either commit our worries to the Lord and pray about it, or worry about it.

then there is God's part. in the next verse paul writes, "and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." if we make the choice to pray instead of worry, we will personally experience God's peace. in a world full of anxiety, i want His peace.

finally, he writes in verse 8: "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things." i'm learning that my thoughts, NOT my circumstances, control whether or not i am content. i am to take every thought captive and dwell on the positive, not the negative. negative thoughts steal joy.

it is a daily learning process to continually give up what i want for what his plans are and will continue to be that way for a long time. but by choosing to give my anxieties to him, choosing to pray specifically and choosing to be thankful no matter what, it will lead me to a place of contentment rather than anxiety.

"contentment is essentially a matter of accepting from God's hand what He sends because we know that He is good and therefore it is good." -ji packer