Thursday, August 28

I Make Kids Cry

My girls at work are hilarious. No, seriously. I generally have 5 and 6 year olds, and they are so hard, but so funny. It's really easy for me to get frustrated because they don't listen and they flail their legs around and kick me in the face all the time. Since I am actually trying to accomplish teaching them gymnastics and keeping them safe, it's a lot harder to have fun with them than it is at camp. I am really trying to find joy in every girl this semester.

Today, one of my 6-year-olds was getting upset because her friend was doing better than her, and apparently making a big deal about it. So she came up to me and was like, "Miss Haley, she did her handstand for 4 seconds and she keeps gagging about it." "I'm sorry, what?" "She keeps gagging about it!" "Bragging?" "yeahh!" As if that had been what she was saying the entire time.

The next class, I had 3 four-year-olds, 2 five-year-olds, and a six-year-old. Talk about the crib! They lined up in front of me at the beginning and every single one of them was jumping up and down. Just bouncing. For no reason. Later one of the 5-year-olds came up to me and was like "I just sprained my elbow." "Do you even know what that means?" "No..." Yeah she was fine.

The adjustment from kids at camp to kids at work has been interesting. I've had a few girls who were at camp, which is so cool! It was so great to be able to talk about Bubble Bobble with a camper once again.

Yesterday I told a girl to sit down on her watermelon. And I got very confused stares from the entire group back. It was awkward.

I have trouble responding to kids calling me by my real name, too. I'm so used to telling myself not to turn around when I hear my name that now I am having to tell myself to turn around, after I tell myself not to. Sad, I know.

In activity classes and sports clinics, we would always start out by going around the circle and saying "My name is Troggie, I'm from Plano, and my favorite _____ is _____". So today, I was introducing myself to a group I had not had before, and I was like "My name is Haley..." And a REALLY long, REALLY awkward pause followed, because I had to stop myself from continuing with where I was from. Finally, I was like "AND I want to know YOUR names!!" They laughed at me. But I guess they are in first grade.

I also sat down my girls, who were being rude, and told them we were going to work on being patience and kind that day, and asked them what it meant to be patient. I definitely wouldn't have done that before having to do it all the time this summer. Gymnastics class turned into a fruit of the spirit seminar.

And it's weird to go back to making a kid cry at least once a week. Today was this week's turn. She was so mad at me for not letting her do a back handspring. O well... I wasn't about to let her do it.

"He wants all or nothing. The thought of a person calling himself a 'Christian' without being a devoted follower of Christ is absurd." -- Crazy Love

Is there such a thing as a non-fruit bearing Christian? That's what I've been chewing on recently.

And, this is really convicting. It's from Crazy Love, too. Take 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, and replace "love" with your name. Does it feel like you're lying? Shootdang. I am definitely not an adequate representation of Love.

I've been learning what it means to love God and not His stuff. My only purpose is to bring glory to Him. I should be striving to know Him, to be like Him, to abide in Him, not because He is my way to Heaven, or because He will take care of me, but because that is the ONLY reason I'm here! Even if Heaven didn't come with it, being a living sacrifice is still my only reason for living. He deserves the glory regardless.

sic 'em

Where Lacey should have been

Wednesday, August 27

divine romance

ok, first of all, did you know that a baby's eyes can't focus on anything further than 8 inches until he is 6 months to a year old? And when a mother holds her baby, her face is about 8 inches from his face!! BAHH GOD IS A STINKIN GENIUS!

Phil Wickham has been such a blessing, oh my goodness. Here are some lyrics that have really encouraged me this week:
* That my heart beats to the rhythm of your heart. That my eyes focus on your eyes. A million tongues could not express how beautiful your holiness. My life is yours. It will be forever.
* I need eyes to be my guide. I need a voice that's louder than mine. I need hope and I need You, because I can't do this alone. Though darkness falls and a million cry, I believe, overall, there's a Greater Light shining for us.
* Here in the quiet, speak to me now, my ears are open to Your gentle, sweet whispering. Break down the door, come inside. Shine down Your bright light. I need a lamp for my feet! I want to hear the thunder of all You are! To be captured inside the wonder of who You are!
I WANT TO LIVE, I WANT TO BREATHE, TO SEARCH OUT YOUR HEART AND ALL OF YOUR MYSTERY. Your glory burns in the stars, shine down your light and burn in my heart. It's Your heart I will hold onto.

It's been so good to see how God has been connecting everything I have been reading to ::abiding::obeying::believing::... For example, I was reading Crazy Love, and it says, "God will ensure my success in accordance with His plan, not mine." This is so encouraging, because when I abide in Christ, I don't have to worry about doing the righ thting, because He is living through me. I just need to obey. I pray that my heart is opened to His and that I will be willing to let Him live for me.

Then I was reading Crazy Love and Colossians and journaling about how much God loves me... Christ died so that I could be His friend. I was His enemy, and through His death, He brought me back as His friend. But He didn't need me to be His friend. He doesn't need me at all! What kind of love is this? So unconditional and selfless... And as I was contemplating about this, another Phil Wickham song came on that fit so well! "Who am I that Your merciful eyes should fall on me? A sinner, a fool who doesn't deserve you. And what am I that you'd offer your life to die for me? What can I do, I'm nothing without You. My Love, my Saving Love. So I fall into You." It is all fitting together, it's so cool!

And then more came about obedience. I absolutely LOVE this passage:

And now, just as you have accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, You must continue to live in obedience to Him. Let your roots grow down deep into Him and draw up nourishment from Him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught."
-Col. 2:6-7-

God is being so intentional with what He has been pointing out to me when I read, it's been so awesome! There's more! It ties in with what it looks like to be wise, and what it looks like to abide.

* Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise... (Col. 3:16)
* Live wisely among those who are not Christians, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone. (Col. 4:5)

A friend and I met for coffee this morning to pour over the Bible studies Matt taught this summer. We discussed what it means to be a disciple, what it means to abide, what it means to LIVE. Does being a Christian automatically make you a disciple? One question we really struggled over was, "can you be a Christian and not abide?" According to John 15, I would have to say no. We are dead when we are not connected to Christ. So those who are not abiding are not alive. But how does that work? I feel like we are so caught up in the "say this special prayer and you're saved!" way of evangalizing, but is that it? What about discipleship? It's a scary thought because at camp, we pray over these kids and when they make a decision to follow Christ, it's the best thing in the world. But do they understand what it means to abide? Do I even understand what it means to abide? The only thing we can do is know that God used us to work in their lives but He is really the one in charge... That is so comforting... We can't save them, so there is no reason to freak out about it.

I found this quote by CS Lewis. It's good.

"If you read history you will find that hte Christians who did the most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this."

I love that guy.

Aced my greek quiz. whoop!

School has been fun so far. Check out this ridiculousness.

one of the many reasons I love Baylor

Lookin to get hitched! Ring by spring!
Lace was struggling with the camera today
But she was so excited to see me

Monday, August 25

Be Joyful Always

I'm tired, so this will be short.

I had my first classes today... should be interesting.

I don't have much to say. Just some quotes and verses I found today.

From Ecclesiastes:

"How wonderful it is to be wise, to be able to analyze and interpret things. Wisdom lights up a person's face, softening its hardness."

"A quiet spirit can overcome even great mistakes."

"Fear God and obey His commands."

"Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride."

I found this passage amusing:
Ecc. 11:9-12:1
"Young man, it's wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. So banish grief and pain, but remember that youth, with a whole life before it, still faces the threat of meaninglessness. Don't let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor Him in your youth before you grow old and no longer enjoy living."

Which leads the poor guy into this:

"It will be too late then to remember Him, when the light of the sun and moon and stars is dim in your old eyes, and there is no silver lining left among the clouds. Your limbs will tremble with age, and your strong legs will grow weak. Your teeth will be too few to do their work, and you will be blind, too. And when your teeth are gone, keep your lips tightly closed when you eat! Even the chirping of birds will wake you up. But you yourself will be deaf and tuneless, with a quavering voice. You will be afraid of heights and of falling, white-haired and withered, dragging along... You will be standing at death's door. And as you near your everlasting home, the mourners will walk along the streets."

shoot daanng.

From Crazy Love (Francis Chan):

"I used to believe that in this world there are two kinds of people: natural worriers and naturally joyful people. I couldn't really help it that I was the worrying kind. I'm a problem solver, so I have to focus on things that need fixing. God can see that my intensity and anxiety are ministry related. I worry because I take His work seriously. Right? But then there's that perplexing command: 'Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!' It's a command for all of us, and it follows with the charge, 'Do not be anxious about anything.'
When I am consumed by my problems-- stressed out about my life, my family, and my job-- I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important that God's command to always rejoice. In other words, that I have a 'right' to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities... Basically, worry and stress communicate that it's okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance. They declare our tendency to forget that we've been forgiven, that our lives here are brief, that we are headed to a place where we won't be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again, and that in the context of God's strength, our problems are small, indeed."

Lunch in the SUB! Meggie's first day at baylor... The camera loves usFirst phi lamb then camp! hooray!

Sunday, August 24


School starts tomorrow!! I am so excited! I have History of the South and Greek... I love history, especially American, so I'm not worried about that, but Greek is freaking me out. I already made alphabet flashcards, because I have a quiz on Wednesday! mehhh...

I went to UBC for church this morning. I really liked it. The pastor was talking about Jeremiah 29 and how God called His people who were suffering in exile to stay there and to build their lives there. Despite the pain, and despite His promises of redemption, at that point He called them to plant there, in the midst of it. He talked about how disappointment sets in when we paint pictures in our heads of how our lives should look and then reality doesn't match our ideas. God might tell us to plant and build in our suffering. But He knows the plans He has for us!

I sat at Common Grounds for a couple hours. I love that place, especially during the day when it isn't crowded. I realized that God answered my prayer. Already. I want to feel helpless... like I can't do it at all by myself. I am leading a Bible Study over John 13-17 called "The Upper Room Discourse: 30 Definitions of a Disciple." Matt Lantz led it at the Towers this summer. And this morning at church I had a complete freak out moment, realizing that I wasn't wise enough or capable enough to lead this Bible Study. But I know God has called me to, and people are planning on coming! I really am still kind of freaking out. I don't have anything I can say! I feel like everything would be completely boring or irrelevant or dumb. God told me the exact same thing He said all summer: abide. One of the main things I got out of the Bible Study is that a disciple abides in Christ. Abiding is believing. Abiding is obeying. When I am abiding, I am alive in Christ! He speaks for me! I no longer live, but He lives in me! It doesn't matter that I feel incapable or dumb, because it's not about me, and in my weaknesses, He is strong!

The Lord has been teaching me so much about obeying Him. There are so many things that He has pointed out that He wants me to do that I reeeealllly don't want to even try. But it doesn't matter.

So at CG, as I was pouring over John 15, I was reminded again the importance of obedience:

* "If you love me, obey my commands.
* "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."
* "I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me, YOU CAN DO NOTHING. My true disciples produce much fruit... This brings great glory to my FATHER."
* "Remain in my love... When you obey me, you remain in my love. You are my friends if you obey me. I command you to love one another."

He is the vine... branches that do not abide and remain with the vine die. They are useless.

As if that wasn't enough, I started reading through Philippians, and this verse really just blew my mind. I LOVE it.

"And now that I am away, you must be even more careful to put into action God's saying work in your loves, OBEYING GOD WITH DEEP REVERENCE AND FEAR. For God is working in you, giving you THE DESIRE TO OBEY HIM and the POWER TO DO WHAT PLEASES HIM."
(Philippians 2:12-13)

I don't need to worry about not being capable of obedience. He has given me the power to do what pleases Him!! hooray!!

That's really all I got for tonight. I'm sleepy. Here are some pics from today!
lace face
my roomie, rachie!
my other roomie, Alyssa!

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth into eternity

Thursday, August 21

In Our Love Be Lifted High

These past few days have been as busy as can be expected. I feel like I have gotten a lot of rest, which is good. On Wednesday, I took the DART from home till West End, stopping at Mockingbird for Urban Outfitters and Thanksgiving Square on the way. We wanted to go all the way into Ft. Worth but it started pouring.

I've really been learning about what it means to live a life of obedience. It's so much easier at camp because you are surrounded by people who are striving for the same thing. But here, it's hard for me to know what God wants, much less how to obey Him.

I know He wants me to be more bold in Him. To take action, and to pour my energy into things worthwhile, whether that is leading Bible Studies, spending time with people during the week, or just loving my roommates and the girls I coach. This summer I learned so much about how precious time is... Why should I waste the time I have been given? It's not even mine!

I am really nervous about what God is asking me to do this semester. But I have to remember that this summer, nothing I did was me. It was all Him. When I abide, when I obey, when I give myself away, He can work.

"My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness."
So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ's good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
::2 Corinthians 12:9-10::

This verse is so common, but this summer, I really learned what it means to let Christ's power work in my weaknesses. I want that to flow over into the semester. I don't want to be able to get through this year by myself. I want to feel that need for Him just to get up in the morning... just to speak patiently... just to look joyful. Then I can be reminded of how insufficient I am yet how great He is.

I've been reading through Philippians and these verses really stuck out to me:

"I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ, whether I live or I die... But whatever happens to me, you must live in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ, as citizens of heaven."

I want that to be my prayer every day.


Monday, August 18

Be Here Be Now

Very Merry Holly Jolly Rockin Christmas Eve

Saturday, Miscow put all the former Baby Ruths in the kitchen to deep clean
5 hours later, after scrubbing off food, cleaning out drains of goop and mold, and disinfecting all that can be touched ... DONE!
Delirious. Too much bleach and disinfectant to the head.
No, seriously. We lost it.
Moments before a really sad goodbye
Last Camper Share... we killed scorpions together
Love them.
yay for night off dinners every weekend!

There are so many things I could say right now. The past three months have blown my mind. I'm an emotional wreck. I cried half way home yesterday... Poor Skipee... It's not that I miss camp. I'm tired, and I was ready to leave. I'll be back in three weeks anyway. What I miss is the people. Never again will camp be the way it was this summer. Some will leave, new people will come. Every summer is incredible, but no summer is the same. For 12 weeks, you build authentic, deep relationships with men and women you may never speak to again. You are vulnerable and intimate. They see you at your best and at your worst. You struggle, cry, laugh, and fight together. Through the battle, you become unified, working together as the Body of Christ. And when everyone leaves, it's like you're being torn apart. I feel like week 11, God was preparing my heart for Sunday. I was dreading saying goodbye. After you see someone every single day, hours and hours every day, for 3 months, it's hard to imagine life without them again.
But God was saying, "Haley... trust me. Just trust me." I really have trust issues when it comes to God. I can trust people very easily. But for some reason, when it comes to my life, I feel like maybe God needs help decided what to do. Sunday morning I was sitting outside the Rock one last time reading and journaling. I was so sad, really struggling at the thought of the byes I knew were coming. But God was like, "I have placed these people in your life at this time for a reason. And I take them away for my reasons too." I know that I am called to be at Baylor this semester. I pray that I will be able to "be here, be now." I'm learning to pour into the people around me at Baylor just like I would at Pine Cove. The call to give myself away doesn't end just because camp ends. I want to completely die to myself this semester. I want to live out Romans 12. It's so hard when you aren't at camp, because you don't have everyone else reminding you that life is not about you. While I miss everyone dreadfully, I can rest in the fact that God has placed both me and them where He wants us, and His plans are so much more amazing than mine.

Honestly, I've kind of just been in a fog for the past 24 hours. Yesterday, I went to Target and wandered around aimlessly. I could have done that for hours. hah. I know I already posted this song, but when it came on this morning, I was like, "that's it! that is how I feel!" So I am going to post the good parts again.

Oh and today is my birthday. It's been a weird day. hah. Hopefully it will stop raining so I can go to the Rangers game tonight.

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow Your will
Or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is You want from me
I give everything I surrender...

Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly

Sanctus Real

Sunday, August 17

In My Life Be Lifted High

L.A.D-- I.E.S, I.E.S
Ashley's little sister!! Such a blessing!
I was unfairly attacked and soaked before PBA even started...
I am obviously not in this picture but the kid staring at Lindsey makes me laugh so hard...
Billy Peligreen's Totally Tubular Time Machine...
Advertising diet, sugar-free water
Monday night sugar cookies!
Thanks to us, hundreds of children's lives were saved
We were M&Ms that day... And I had one skittle. haha I LOVED those girls
Only at the Towers...
Belle made the mistake of trying to tackle me in the buffalo pit.
4 to the 4th
Waiting to be slain
The scariest part of buffalo hunt... waiting for 270 kids to come up over the hill chanting the prize buffalo's name...
Myself and the Down family... Black Hawk and Break It
SICK SICK SICK... We seriously prayed that no kids would drown in the pit
I love her... Last PBA of 08
5th Grade Trip
Hanging out at Lake Prophecy
Friday Night Pizza
Waiting to hand out snack... Right before 2 very muddy, very wet girls jumped on my back... and right after one of those same girls put a frog down my shirt.

Sunday, August 10