Tuesday, September 30

i was covered in pickles. ew. i hate pickles.

Can I just take a moment to comment on how happy this picture is? We should be models.

A. My throat hurts like woah. :[

B. For Freshman Follies, my assignment was "floater: make sure people are having fun!" Which I interpreted to mean: Be intentional with college freshmen! baha not my cup of tea. But I overcame that really uncomfortable feeling in my gut and took confidence in the fact that I am older than them so starting a conversation shouldn't be that hard, Haley! gahh! And they didn't look at me like I was crazy! woo!

C. 1 John 5-- Every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory.

chew on that.

Sunday, September 28

Hands and Feet

Last night, I was on facebook, and got this sudden sense of boredom with my life. Now, I don't know if I am just bored with facebook, or my life in general, but I was like, "I am so tired of feeling confined to the Baylor bubble. I'm sick of looking like everyone else and acting like everyone else and being boring and predictable. I want to be able to live my life without the confinements of other people's judgements... and I want them to look at me and say, 'why is she so different?' And I want to be able to answer, 'Because Jesus defines me, not you!' This was all one thought process. It went a lot of directions, as I was trying to pin point exactly what was bothering me... I still don't really know. I just feel like there is so much more I can be doing. But I don't know what. I'm tired of being confined to titles that go with Christianity, Baylor, and Pine Cove. I just don't really like titles, I guess. I want to be different, but I don't know how I am. I want to be defined by Jesus, not those around me.

I went to sleep with these puzzling thoughts. I don't consider myself a creative person, so I was stumped on how I was going to be different... how I was going to give more, when all I seem to have is the regular and ordinary.

Then I went to church. I LOVE my church. So much. I have never felt so at home at a place where I hardly know anyone. So many new faces, all eager to worship God in ways that He created them to do so. Conformity doesn't exist at UBC. I mean, yeah, you can say that they are all hippies, or granola, or toms loving, tree hugging, long board riding free spirits. But they aren't all like that. And even those individuals are so unique amongst themselves. I love it.

Anyways, I was sitting in church, and our pastor started out by talking about how we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus... Being a disciple isn't about "asking Jesus into our hearts" and going to church and expecting to be fed and making it all about us. Being a disciple is about looking like our Master. One thing he said really stuck out: "Be the presence of God in someone's life." Dang. There are people who cross my path that I would have to say I am not reflecting God to them. Convicting.

Then he actually got to the sermon.
Matthew 22:37
We are to engage this faith... heart, mind, soul.

My favorite passage, Romans 12, begins with the call to not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of one's mind. Christianity isn't just a dead religion where you go through the motions! It's an action that overtakes every part of your life. Every sense. Every thought. He created me with certain passions, and desires me to use those to bring Him glory.

This is how all this connects: I want to find the things that God created me to do... who He created me to be. I want to find those things that bring Him pleasure, and thus, bring me pleasure. I don't want to go through my life with a checklist. I don't want to be safe. I'm tired of being normal, and doing things because of what others think.

Eric Liddell, who struggled with making a choice between being a missionary and running at the Olympics, said, "I believe God made me with a purpose. But He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure." aahhh how I want to feel His pleasure. He understood that being a Christian isn't separating himself from the world. It's doing what God created Him to do in a way that points them to Him. Liddell went on to be a missionary in China... He continued to run there.

I don't really know what all this means. I guess I am just tired of falling into the trap of a boring, complacent life when I know God has created me for more. Guess we'll see what! Right now, I am just praying that He will ruin me. My life is so unsatisfying when it's about me.

PS: I LOVE the Robbie Seay cd. oooh my gosh.
PPS: I have decided to write a book. It will be good, get ready. :)

Saturday, September 27

the beauty of Grace is that it makes life not fair

First of all, I just wanted to add some of my favorite pictures from this past week... There are tons more, because I love my camera... but these are some of the faves.
We played dress up this week... procrastination in rare form. Luckily, I did fine on my test the next day. hah.

We also had a tie dye partayy, PCT style. Baylor is slowly turning into hippy central. Actually, not even slowly. I love it. I had a slight crisis at Walmart when I couldn't find rubber bands... What is the point of rubber bands, anyway? Why does every office have them? All I can remember using them for is buffalo hunt and tie dying... and the occasional pony tail holder when a hair rubber band couldn't be found in time for gymnastics.

I had a great convo with my boss. He has known me since I was in 10th grade, I do believe... then he ended up being my boss after 2 years of me working at camp. Pretty fuuunnn stuff. He's also doing my wedding someday. Basically, he's great, and I can't wait to see him soon! Love you, Paps! The first pic is from my senior year when he was still working at the Shores... and the 2nd is from this summer!

This week, something clicked. I don't know why it hadn't ever clicked before... But I was laying on my floor, studying for my history test and greek quiz that were in a couple hours. I was tired of studying and tired in general. I had layed my head down on my arms, closed my eyes, trying to put off studying as long as possible, while still trying hard not to fall back to sleep. I said, "God, I need to you pick me up and carry me today. I'm so tired and I am sick of school." A thought in the back of my head crossed my mind: "He won't carry you, Haley, you haven't hung out with Him today..." Then I heard: "Haley, I will always carry you. My love is not dependent on you or how you treat me." God's unconditional love had been coming up a lot, and while I had been telling others that God's love does not increase or decrease with what we do, I guess I never really let it apply to me. I felt so relieved, yall. We underestimate God and His love by assuming that we have anything to do with it... If we did, He would have no reason to love us.
Luckily for us, life isn't fair.


Sunday, September 21

Ok first of all, I need to take a moment to mourn the loss of my favorite places on campus. The swings. They took them down for the hurricane, and haven't put them back up! Rumor is that they might not... ever! There is one swing left, and it is the one by the SUB. I love the swings. boo I am legit sad, yall. In memory of the swings, I have the oldest picture I can find and the newest one I have on these swings... Mind you, there are many many more in between, from middle school, high school, and all through college. First Fountain Mall, then the Bear Tombs, now the swings... what next, Judge Baylor? They are taking away all our photo ops!! If I don't get to take pictures of my kids on the swings, future homecomings have the potential of being LAME.

Anyways, sorry about that, I needed to mourn. So on Friday, I went to hang out with one of my campers and her family!! It was one of my top experiences of the semester, for sure!! She is the camper who asked me what my angle was and asked our PD if she should be Mary or Jesus for the Christmas night and wrote our APD a hilarious get better card. The girl is amazing, I love her! We played games, jumped on the trampoline, fed deer.. yeah that's right, about 18 deer came up to the house and hung out with us for a while. It was so weird. Her dad had brought back some Hermit Crabs and she hadn't named them yet, so I encouraged her to do so! And she named them Troggie, Elphie, Funky, PT, Pappy, Pau Pau, and Mark. When she prayed for dinner, she thanked Jesus for all of us there, and Pau Pau. She wrote down a list of questions for me titled, "What Troggie is REELY like:" and then another paragraph about my family. It's awesome.
I loved every moment of it. Her parents are incredible, her 12 year old sister is adorable, and she is such a joy. It was so nice just to be able to play... Not be her mom, not try to teach her gymnastics... just play.

A lot of different themes have been coming up in my life recently... Safety, complacency, love...
I am a fairly opinionated person, I suppose, and complacency makes me want to throw up. Just being smuggly satisfied with a lame life because you are too lazy to change anything is lame. I like that word, I've discovered.

Anyways... What does it look like to do the right thing instead of the safe thing? I so often just want what's easy, what's comfortable, what's safe... But in that complacency, I am missing out on life and hurting those who really care. Safe is comfortable, but I like change and challenges. Life involves faith... risk... and if I'm just chillaxing in the background, I might miss out on something huge God has planned.

Love... oooh man this one is a good one! What does it mean to love someone? I mean, seriously. To love in general... anyone. We are told to love, but what does that even mean? I feel like the dictionary definition is kind of lame: "an intense feeling of deep affection." Well, okay, but what is affection? "a gentle feeling of fondness or liking." LAME. If that's all love is, then why is it so hard? I don't have a deep affection for those who hate me, who are mean to me, those who are just annoying. But I am called to love them... I don't think Jesus is telling me to affectionately adore them. I feel like love involves sacrifice. Jesus demonstrated the greatest love by dying for me. He says that when we obey Him, we love Him... By placing His will above my own, I love. John 13 talks about how Jesus showed His disciples the full extent of His love by washing their feet. He humbled Himself to the point of nothing... foot washing was an act that even Jewish slaves did not perform, because it made them unclean. By stripping Himself of His glory, He humbled Himself to a servant, and loved us to the full extent of His love. This makes simple affection seem shallow. In our society, we love in order to gain something in return. In Jesus' Kingdom, we are to love regardless of the response. Jesus fully loved the man who was literally about to betray Him to the point of death. And He loved him. And love isn't to make us feel good. We love in order to bring God glory. That's all that matters! So what does it mean to tell someone you love them? The only way I love ever is by allowing God's love to reflect off of me... like the moon! *Thanks Matt Lantz! :)*

God's love:
"Our lives were full of evil and envy. We hated others, and they hated us. But then God our Savior showed us His kindness and love. He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of His mercy... He declared us not guilty because of His great kindness." -- Titus 3

Man, blows my mind! He's so great! I strive to look like my Jesus... my life is not a checklist of dos and don'ts, time specific quiet times and tasks to be completed... It is about love. Jesus' love flowing through me and bouncing off me. It's about abiding and obeying.


Sunday, September 14


OOh man God has been mixing every part of my life together this week! And it's awesome!
Connection uno:
I am reading The Shack, and it has really challenged how I view God and the Trinity... now, I am not going to pretend that I even remotely begin to understand the Trinity. Because I don't, and I love it that way. But I believe that the Trinity represents perfect community... And because we are created in His image, we long for community as well. It's cool to see how the author portrays this need for community in The Shack... And then today at church, our pastor talked about community!! Discipleship takes place in community!

Which leads to connection numero dos!
Today, in the Upper Room Discourse, we discussed humility and service, and how those play into being a disciple. Then, at my StuFu meeting, we talked about how servant leaders serve even the least of these! It was a great reminder of how I should be serving who are seen as "the lowest of low"... I am called to wash their feet! It wasn't a suggestion, it was a command. I have been thinking about how if I don't look like Him, Jesus must not be my teacher. Now, that's convicting. I want to look like Jesus!

I got accepted to be part of the Student Recruitment for StuFu! Which means I will travel and talk to high school students about coming to Baylor! And lead tours for premiers! Starting Saturday! aahaha!
I just love it because this is so something I can't do on my own. I am not good at initiating conversation, especially with high school students. I am just not cool enough. But God is still answering my prayers for Him to challenge me to the point of hopelessness! He is so great! This semester will be a challenge but I am so excited!

Read The Shack!!

I made stufu!! I have no idea why they picked me, but it's gonna be awesome! haha

The football game was AWESOME!

Monday, September 8

Mountain Biking and Cheerleaders

Wow. How do I even begin to describe this weekend? I worked an IWS conference for Pine Cove... 250 cheerleaders, all from the same gym, between 2nd and 12th grade. We showed up Friday, and my friend Allison and I discovered that we were in charge of mountain biking. Yes. "M. Biking: Troggie and Sweet Pea." I'm sorry, what? We laughed. For a long time. It actually became the joke of the weekend. haha. Yall, I seriously hadn't ridden a bike since 10th grade. Thank you Jesus for muscle memory! So we led these high school cheerleaders through the Bluffs and down to the Shores... not a tough task, but hard enough. Our legs were burning and exhausted. The girls would complain the whole time... But I would just have to be like "Persevere, girls! It's worth it in the end!" in my most joyful voice possible. I had one junior look at me and go, "I am NOT having fun..." I did not know what to say!! I'm not used to working with girls only 3 years younger than me! I wanted to say, "yeah? Me neither!" But I didn't... haha. Allison made a girl cry. hah. But I played good cop and came to the rescue. Trying to be intentional and talk to them was one of the hardest parts... It's difficult to ask girls questions who don't even want to acknowledge your presence. We were definitely not cool enough.

The best part of the whole experience was that I had to pray every second of those rides that Jesus would give me joy and patience and strength to get through. I was so sore and tired and sometimes frustraited with the complaining 17 year olds. The fact that I had been praying all week for God to challenge me to the point of hopelessness without Him, and then going to a conference that I expected to be pretty chill, and finding out it wasn't, was so great. He answered my prayer, just through a few hours on a bike. It was so hard, but so good. It wasn't the chill weekend I would have gotten if I had been working at the Towers, but it served as such a good reminder that God needs to ruin my life and the plans that I have made. It's not about me, and this weekend wasn't about me! It was hard work, but getting to point others to Jesus was such a blessing. I don't understand why God gives me these chances to be used by Him! I have been so blessed... Just like Paul writes to Timothy: "How thankful I am to Jesus Christ our Lord for considering me trustworthy and appointing me to serve Him..."

Speaking bluntly about Jesus wasn't really possible at this conference, so we had to point to Him with our actions. It was so cool talking about integrity and gentleness and perseverance and knowing that the only way to prove it to them was by our actions. And boy, were they watching us. A few of us wore bandanas across our foreheads on Saturday, to keep our hair out of our faces... The store sold out of bandanas that day. Around 30 girls showed up to dinner wearing bandanas the exact same way. It was such a cool reminder that we were being watched. Who were we showing them?

When I was reading 1 Timothy today, I found a verse that explained exactly what we did this weekend. And it is so cool:

"We work hard and suffer much in order that people will believe this Truth, for our hope is in the Living God, who is the Savior of all people, and particularly of those who believe."
1 Timothy 4:10

My weekend of challenges did not stop there, though. 15 minutes after I got home, we started The Upper Room Discourse. The event I was dreading for weeks. An act of obedience that I knew I couldn't do on my own. It went well, apparently. No thanks to me. God worked despite me. And that's all I had been praying He would do! He showed up when I didn't know what to say. It was all Him. ALL Him. Abiding is so cool like that!

Then I had an interview... Another event I was dreading, but to a much harder degree. I almost left before they called my name. I almost cried before they called my name. But I knew God wanted me to apply, even if just for the experience. So I obeyed. And again, He showed up. I didn't cry!!

This weekend was full of trials I did not want to face... I did not know how to face... I COULDN'T face. And Jesus came to my rescue. So this is the constant cry of my heart: Challenge me to the point of complete helplessness. I don't want to think I can do it. Anything, everything. I want to depend on Him, to know He will show up, and to be still and wait. This semester... next semester... next summer.

Some of my favorite people in the world. Towers staff working at the Towers and Timbers this weekend
Waiting at the Towers for PBA to end... we almost lost Lace in this one
Before our bike riding adventures began... so young and innocent
Last ride of the weekend!
We adjusted a lot of seats.

Looking a little rough right before our last ride. hah. Sore and exhausted. I thought my legs were going to fall off.

Glory and honor to God forever and ever. He is the eternal King, the unseen One who never dies; He alone is God.

Wednesday, September 3

I was talking to my 6-year-olds today, and these are some of the things that came up:

We were discussing the ages of our moms and dads, and I said,
"My mom is 45..."
"oh. my. gosh..."

Then one of them, who had been wearing bandages on her legs the week before goes:
"Do you remember the girl last week with white bandages on her legs?"
me: "you...?"
her: "yeah..."
me: "how did you do that again?"
her: "I was riding my bike with a rope tied up to the goats..."
me: "ooh yeah..."

It took everything in me not to laugh at that story. Goats, really?

Tuesday, September 2

Heart Abandoned

Oh. God is so good. Seriously. And I just poured green tea on myself. Sweet.

Anyways, back to God's goodness. So I have known that I needed to go to the girl community group at UBC for a week and a half now. I knew God was telling me to... and I was totally planning on it, and excited at that. But then, today, reality hit me. I was so nervous. I am not good in social situations in which I know no one. I hate it. So much. I was freaking out. I parked and sat in my car... praying that I would actually go in. I even wrote in my journal how nervous I was and that I needed God to help me obey. I didn't want to go, but I wanted to obey. The verse that talks about God giving us the will to obey and the power to do what pleases Him came to mind... So I walked in... it was really awkward at first, but probably because I am such an awkward person. I thrive in awkwardness. I found the room and guess what!?! My dear friend from camp, Aarika, or Everyday Italian was there... I basically collapsed into her arms. Yall. It was one of the biggest blessings ever. Seriously. I love that God knows my fears and my anxiety and He places people and songs and verses to reaffirm His plan.
So after, I went to Common Grounds to journal and read. CG has become my haven. I go there when I don't want to be distracted, whether it be schoolwork or preparing for Bible Studies, or just reading, I get so much more done there than in my apartment. I sat with my friend, Megan, talked about life, ran into 2 friends from camp. THAT was a blessing, too. They are two of the most joyful people I know. I am meeting with them tomorrow morning and I am SO stoked.

I am still nervous about Bible Study starting on Sunday... mehhh. But I know that when I abide in Christ, I am sufficient for His purposes, because it is Him in me.

I found this verse yesterday... it's so encouraging to know that everything here will fade away... "The Lord is my inheritance, I will hope in Him!" - Lamentations 3

These verses caught my eye this morning:
"Let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence whenever our hearts condemn us." - 1 John 3:18-20
I love that rest that is found when I know I am in His presence... when I know I am abiding with Him. And I love how God always connects what He teaches me... I read this tonight in Crazy Love:
"People who are obsessed with Jesus give freely and openly, without censure. Obsessed people love those who hate them and who can never love them back. Obsessed people are more concerned with obeying God than doing what is expected or fulfilling the status quo."

And then more about love from 1 Thessalonians:
"And may the Lord make your love grow and overflow to each other and to every one else, just as our love overflows toward you. As a result, Christ will make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy when you stand before the Father..."
I love the word "overflow" there... I can just see God's love pouring out of His people and over everyone around them. It's sad that it doesn't often work that way.

The final quote I found today is again from Crazy Love... I love it because God had pointed out to me the lyric: "So I stand with arms high and heart abandoned in awe of the One who gave it all..." from Hillsong United's "The Stand" today, and then I read this quote:

"God wants us to trust Him with abandon. He wants to show us how He works and cares for us. He wants to be our refuge."

I have to learn to let Jesus take care of me. I need to step back and watch Him work. I know He will.

Post-decision to make a surprise visit to c-stat

We were so excited to see our aggies! But shhh... none of them knew!
The reunion... Skipee caught our welcome while it happened. This pic brings me so much joy.

Blotter and Timba. Love them.
One of my new favorite pictures-- myself, Everyday, Elphie, and Belle
So much love in one place-- family!
Sitting on Kyle Field after Midnight Yell-- now THAT was an experience.