As it Falls.

“The future lies before you, like a field on fallen snow; Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show.” ~Anonymous

In Colorado, the weather changes daily and it is never consistent. Ever. Yesterday, it was sunny and 65. It was really windy, but it was 65 and it was a nice break from the cold wind, fog covered mornings and 20 degree weather.

Today, all of that is gone. I woke up to nothing but fog and a coldness I could not layer up enough for. As much as I say I dislike the snow and have a love- hate relationship with this Colorado weather, I secretly like days where the snow just falls from a pure white sky, the trees are white for a short time and fog is all around. It makes my heart so content, it gives me strong motivation to write my thoughts down.

These kinds of days remind me how I need to slow down. How I need to reflect and spend time being thankful and continue chasing after God. It is so easy getting lost in the busy-ness of our everyday lives. Between working out, going to school, working, coming home and doing more school, being involved in my church, having and building relationships, it is so easy for me to keep rushing through my days, my weeks, just to get to pay day. Or whatever I am looking forward too.

Honestly, I have to remind myself to not look forward to Fridays right when Mondays come around again. I have to remind myself to live for today, for this moment, even if it is boring. Because as cliche as it sounds, we are not guaranteed tomorrow. This fact does not scare me in any way, but it reminds me to hug the people I love a little bit tighter when I see them, remember all the good times I’ve had with my family and friends, how much God loves and adores me, and to be a little kinder to people.

I came across the quote at the beginning, quite ironic I saw it today as the snow is falling all around me, I fell in love with it because it spoke so clearly to me. Our future is untouched, it is full of opportunities that, right now, we don’t know we’ll have then. It is so exciting to look back and to see how much I’ve grown in the past ten years and to know that my testimony is only going to grow and change the older I get.

Looking at the snow falling, decorating the trees and draping them in white, brings me such peace. Something about how the snow falls, so certain of where it is going but not in control of its path, bring me peace. Though I may not know what my future holds, I know that it is in God’s hands. Setting aside my daily stressors, I will sit here, continue to write, watch as the snow falls, and embrace these feelings of contentedness and peace. Sometimes, these feelings are rare when we are so busy.

Slow down, watch the snow fall, do things that bring you peace and embrace those moments when they come.

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Overwhelming Envy

Jealousy. What an ugly word. I’ve found myself struggling with jealousy so much over the past couple months, and it is something I’m quite ready to be over. I hate the way it temporarily controls me, my mindset, my attitude. It tears me apart more often than not. Being envious of others is something that is very natural. It can even push us to grow into something stronger or finally reach a goal we have had set before us but never quite achieved, but only if we get past the control of envy. I don’t know about you guys, but I am so beyond exhausted of all the joy and gratitude being sucked out of my life because I let the envy fully overwhelm me.

Subconsciously, when we have these pangs of jealousy brought on without our own consent, we are thinking this: If they can do it, I can do it too. Am I wrong? Probably not. If we are constantly getting distracted by all these things people have that we are jealous over, we will never grow as people. This is true in every aspect of our life, if we stare at the people in the gym with perfect form, we lose our form and can hurt ourselves. If we are envious of people who are more wealthy than us, we become greedy and it eventually can ruin us.

For me, when I feel these envious emotions, I often dive deep into my pool of insecurities. I fall into this abyss of self destruction and thoughts that I know are not mine and that I should not be listening to. In these moments, I feel more and more depressed each time I come to see these feelings and emotions. This is a reoccurring thing. I’m over it.

We can sit and wallow in our own self pity brought on by jealousy consuming us and taking all the positivity, joy and gratitude we have to offer. Or, we can realize that we have so many of our own qualities to offer because we are all unique.

So, what can we do to lessen these overwhelming, all consuming thoughts?

We already know that envy is a natural feeling. James 4:1-2 says this, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.” Wow. I read this, and I swear it touched my heart in a refreshing, restorative way. I have seen, and even experienced friendships be destroyed over jealousy between people in friendships and it is one of the worst types of pain there is.

Let me encourage you, readers, when jealousy comes and wants to take over, stand strong in who you are as the Daughter of the King. He will restore your heart and demolish your feelings of envy, no matter their size. Envy is a foothold for the enemy because you are in your weakest moments in those times and he will feed you lies. If you surrender your envious emotions to God in these times, he will bring you peace. He will restore your gratitude and joy.

One thing I found that also helps my jealousy lessen greatly, is making a list or repeating daily three or more things I am grateful for. It helps my heart, and myself, realize how special and unique I am and that I truly do have talents and gifts given to me that are unique to me.

Show compassion to yourselves, give yourselves grace because jealousy is fierce and wants to destroy you and take all your joy away.

The Beauty of the Chase

I don’t have any idea how it is already December yet, this year has gone by so incredibly fast. But, I’ll take it. This is my favorite time of year. I love all the pretty lights in neighborhoods, around town, on trees. Even all the decorations in the stores that are prematurely put up every year. My most favorite thing about this time of year is reflecting on my life and where I was and who I was as a person this time last year.

This time last year, I was in a completely different spot, one I’m not proud of if I’m honest. I was making decisions I was happy with then, but current me can not understand what I was doing. And I was even getting ready for a mission trip to Africa while still making not-Hailey-like decisions. Finally, around February, my common sense came back to me in the form of a heartbreak that left me unsure of who I was. I remember laying in my bed one night thinking of all that had happened over the course of 5 months that changed me into someone I did not want to be. I laid there crying, calling out to God for forgiveness. It was that night that I decided I would live as wholehearted for Him as I possibly could. No turning back.

That was the best decision I have ever made, I honestly believe that. My heart started changing almost immediately and God delivered me through the excruciating pain I was dealing with, He took it all from me, and I healed better than I could have hoped, better than I was before. Fast forward to the end of May. I was graduating high school, finally!! Then a week later, I was off on the biggest adventure of my life. I went to Rwanda, Africa. Little did I know my heart would change even more. I fell so in love with the culture, the people, the scenery, even the food! I came back feeling like a new person and I was so on fire for God. My heart felt new.

The summer turned to fall and college began again. I was so excited for my classes because almost immediately after returning from Rwanda, I changed my major from Journalism to Education. Finally feeling confident in my major, I am pursuing my dream of becoming a high school English teacher. I feel like my excitement has maybe lessened a little bit, but that is normal when the homework ramps up as the semester progresses, but I’m eager to continue in my education toward my dream.

Why am I sharing all of this? Well, this is why. I look back on this year, and I see the hand of God and His love and grace in absolutely everything. Every decision I made from the point of utter brokenness, to the decision to change my major in college. This year was not all sunshine and rainbows as I may have made some parts seem, it has had its times where I wanted to give up, where I was so confused I did not know what to do anymore. I even lost my sweet dog, Ashby in the beginning of August and my heart still hurts, I had her since I was 6 and I am almost 20. She was my best friend.  As I write this and share a little snippet into my year, my heart is so full with gratefulness. I have grown closer with some amazing people, met new people, gotten more involved in my church that fills my heart greatly and grown incredibly stronger in my walk with God. I have grown up, God has blessed me more than I could have dreamed. All because I decided to live as a wholehearted disciple for Him.

My sweet girl, Ashby.

All the beauty that is this Christmas season reminds me how it is not easy to follow God and His life plan for me, for all of us. But, it is so worth it to chase after Him, to surrender our heart to Him, along with every single aspect of our life to Him too. Chase after God, He will bless you and provide for you in ways you never imagined. He is a good God, so believe it.

Be Patient and Wait.

Sometimes life just gets to be a little too much. And it seems like this realization hits all at one time. It’s funny because this happens usually when you feel like you are doing pretty well too, like maybe, just maybe you’ve found the right path. The realization is: you aren’t exactly where you thought you were. For me, tonight was the night where a lot of held in emotions broke the flood gates. A completely necessary step in growing closer with Jesus, in my opinion.

I’m a naturally emotional person in basically any stage of life. No, seriously. Ask anyone of my friends and they will give you an emphatic yes. I cry over a cute pup I saw walking down the street, or a sappy romance movie where the guy gets the girl, in a well written novel or in a silly fan fiction written because someone was bored. Reading is my escape and I tend to get too attached to the characters and I feel like I’m in books when I read them. So what do I do when they are over? Cry, naturally.

Anyway, life has been a struggle this past month. My family had to put down my dog, my sweet Ashby girl, because it was just time. I’ve had her since I was 6 years old, I am almost 20 so that is a really long time for a dog to live. Life is not even close to how it was before she left us, she went so many places with me. I need another dog in my life stat! Between losing her and struggling to find my way in life all the while I’m chasing after God, I feel like I’m running in place most days.

Let me tell you why. I have decided I want to be a high school English/Literature teacher. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to teach in a different country. And if it is in God’s plan He will take me back to Rwanda to teach, but who knows. Life is a fun adventure. Since I decided to change my major one more time, I’ve felt at peace. Kind of. I would love to do more missions work over seas, go to bible college in another country, or just stay put and stick the next year out and get my Associates in Art knocked out. My poor brain is moving a million miles an hour at all seconds of the day.

I’ve been emotional over all of these things for a little while now just because I really am ready for a change in life. I also feel content because I have slowly come around to the idea of finishing my associates at home (my parents were rooting so hard for this decision, let me tell you) and then going to a college out of state for a new experience and maybe new opportunities.

In this time in my life, even if I feel like I’m running and getting nowhere, I am crying out to God and not hearing anything back, strangely I feel at peace in it all. It is 100% okay to be vulnerable because Jesus will sit with you in your sadness and He will dance with you in your happiness.
I have been in this season of life of waiting. It has been such a long season but I am so eager for the next thing God has ready to throw me.

While writing this, “be patient and wait” is all that keeps coming to mind. I typed it into google and Psalm 27:14 came up. The verse says, “ Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

So for now, I will snuggle up with a cup of tea, my bible and journal and continue to wait on the Lord.

Searching, and Searching…

When you’re little, you have an idea in your head on what you want to be. Some kids want to be astronauts, some want to be doctors, some want to be veterinarians. Well for me, I wanted to be a midwife. I loved the idea of delivering babies and I always thought it was a beautiful process of bringing a new life into this crazy, ugly world.

Not anymore. I decided I wanted to be a journalist because I love to write. I have always loved English and studying literature and writing papers (I know. Who actually says that?!). It was always my “thing” in school. So I thought maybe majoring in journalism would pull my love for English and literature and writing fun articles and stories, together. Boy was I wrong, but also right. My heart just wasn’t there where it should have been.

I’m sitting on my bedroom floor with a mind that won’t stop going in circles, on the edge of having an emotional breakdown. I no longer know what I want to do with my life. Ever since returning from Africa, I have had this burning desire to do more work for God and travel the world. I just want to learn more about God and all the beautiful people and cultures He has created.

I’m conflicted between going to a bible college in England, France or Italy, or staying here to study becoming an English teacher. That is going to be a lot of school and student loans. Or maybe I want to work with an organization like YWAM. Who actually knows.

These are the thoughts that have been running through my head so much recently. I cannot figure out what I want to do. All I know is that I love people, English, God and traveling. I never thought I would want to be a teacher, but I really do. I am just so tired of Colorado, I need to get out. But the money side of things really scares me because you need money to get places and to survive.

I am ready for something new. I am ready for a major change in my life. I am terrified, emotional, sad, but also hopeful and joyful about where I am sitting in life right now. I feel lost and stuck, but I know it is for a season. In this season, I cannot lose sight of leaning on God and turning all my struggles to Him. I know He will guide me to where He wants me to be. But all in His time. That is hard for me, those who know me know I am not a patient person.

This morning, I have been thinking (shocker), and talking to two very important people in my life and my friend sent me this verse, “Dear brothers and sisters, when trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything” James 1:2-4. I do not think anything has ever spoke to me as much as this verse did this morning.

All this to say, turn to God. He has the blueprints to your life and He will never leave you or forsake you. His love for us is unending and never failing. If we turn our eyes to Him and give Him all our struggles and trust, we will be rewarded in ways we never dreamed of. I should know that, He took me to Africa when my doubts seemed to be unending.

Thanks for listening friends. I apologize that it has been so long, I miss this… Much love Xxx

Live!

Have you noticed the impact social media has on our lives? It tells us how to dress, how to act, what our makeup should look like, how we should be doing at our current age… the list goes on. In my sociology class the other day, we watched a little bit of a film called Generation Like that PBS put on. It really got me thinking about how much we pay attention to likes, followers, shares, retweets. You name it, we care about it!

As much as we do not want to care about likes and whatever, we do. It is there in the back of our mind, and there might be a little bit of disappointment when you open your insta app to see only this many likes compared to what your past post got. Trust me, I know.

I’m guilty of this too guys, I’m not being judgmental in any way at all. In fact, I am sympathizing with you in this struggle. This film just got me thinking so much on how much time we spend on our phones and computers, disconnected from our friends and family plus many other things. I live in Colorado and it is such a beautiful state, even after 19 years of living here I am still not tired of it. The snow on the other hand, well thats a different story haha.

There is so much to do outdoors here, but often I find myself staying inside because I’d rather sit around and watch show after show or check my Facebook or instagram multiple times in ten minutes, but be real, nothing changes that fast. Social media has changed me as a person, I know it has. I’m not saying that I am terrible and lazy and whatever else all because of it, but I do know that it does not help my insecurities, my motivation and ultimately how I live my life.

Many of those who know me personally know that my faith and my walk with Jesus is so so important to me. I hate to say it but checking my snapchat is more appealing to me than getting in the word and reading what God has for me that day. I hate it. It is so hard to wake up and say “today, I choose to invest in those around me, read my bible (or even a book if you would rather not read the bible) and really just experience life in a new way, even if my schedule is close to regular today.”

I encourage you to live. Appreciate the cold, white snow falling from the sky even if winter is not your favorite. Look up at the blue sky and breathe in the fresh air blowing across your face. Put down the cell phone, log out of your accounts, smile at strangers and see if they smile back, hug your sister or brother a little tighter because they will only be this age once and it goes fast. Learn to appreciate life in a new way everyday, love the little things. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. I promise. I am on this journey with you, don’t forget that.

Much love my beauties Xxx

And The Dice Roll Anyway 

Guys! It’s been a long time but I have a lot running through my mind. Good things coming soon! But for now, here is a poem I wrote that got accepted to be published at my community college. Hope you love it 🙂

The trees groan,
as the wind breaks across their base.
With branches high toward heaven,
the trees give glory to the Creator.
The flowers sings a song of summer,
as each one is a different color.
Each playing a part in the beautiful scene,
of the forest of life.
I hear the creek yelling, 
as it passes by, slamming in to the rocks in its path.
It’s so blue, like the sky on a cloudless day,
making life seem like a unending dream.
The dice role and everything changes. 
the beautiful trees no longer groan, 
They scream in pain.
As the fire climbs toward their branches, 
still giving all the glory to the Creator.
The flowers are no longer.
all that remains are ashes, 
of what used to be summer colors, 
and the songs they sang.
But the creek, it does nothing. 
It flows like nothing bad has happened to interfere, 
with its on going, swift, never stopping movement.
The wind is fierce as it builds the fire, taller and taller,
till it looks like it’s licking the sky in spite.
Ashes, oh ashes are everywhere. 
The once beautiful forest of life,
is gone. 
All because the dice of life rolled, 
and nothing will ever be the same. 
It just won’t.