Cupcakes and Sunshine

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

they ain't Jesus

Hey, hi, hello!!
I'm just going to be really real and say the past few days have been tough. like really, really tough. And I have been listening to lots of lies and letting them get to me, so today I sat down and had some quiet time with Jesus and He revealed to me how much stinking power I'm letting the enemy have, because this past week I started believing some of those lies!

My first week in the city was great. I was high on life- really and truly! But since that first week, I feel like satan has really tried to get at me in all kinds of ways: emotionally, financially, friend-wise, relationally, time-wise, work-wise, feeling like I'm too much, feeling like I'm too little, fear-of-the-future-wise, fear-of-the-present-wise, what-the-heck-am-I-doing-wise. You know. Just in all the places.

I feel I have been attacked even in the smallest of things.

FOR EXAMPLE: this past weekend, I bought a welcome mat because I think they are fun and home-y and make you feel all kinds of smiley inside before you even walk into your front door.

Welcome mats are great for this reason. However, if you walk on welcome mats without shoes, those little spriggly things (is this a word? is this a bad word?) feel like thorns on your feet and they track through your house and all over. Well, upon purchasing said welcome mat, the little welcome mat spriggly things shed everywhere all over my passenger seat on the way home, making whoever the next person is to sit in my passenger seat probably feel not-so-very-welcome (sorry next person.)


Because this morning, I woke up and my thoughts went like this on the way to class...

Ugh. those spriggly things are all over my car still. I do not have a vacuum to vacuum those spriggly things. I do not have time to find a vacuum to vacuum those spriggly things. I should not purchase a vacuum to vacuum those spriggly things right now because I am on a budget. These spriggly things are a mess. You know what else is a mess? My laundry. I should do laundry as soon as I get home. You know what else I should do when I get home? Study. Because I haven't studied anything and I haven't had time to study anything because I have been working. Work. Work is hard and a lot and I am tired of working. But I have to work to go to school and learn. But I need to get stuff done so I feel like I am learning something. I haven't gotten anything done. I feel like a failure. I really truly do. I don't feel like I have done well in any areas of life lately. No one likes someone who is a failure!! Who are my friends in Dallas!? Are they going to think I'm a failure? No one wants to be friends with someone who is a failure! No one wants to marry someone who is a failure! I am a mess- just like all these spriggly things!!!

And all of a sudden- I realized satan was attacking me even through these dang spriggly things. & because of these spriggly things...I am not getting married.


1 Peter 5:8 says...
"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

& this past week, he's been trying real hard. even in the dang spriggly things. 

The first week of class, I attended a meeting...and someone was just casually speaking on life and said... 

"Hey! Who are y'all trying to impress?! Where are you seeking affirmation? Is it your family? Your friends? Your work? Your schedule? BECAUSE THEY AIN'T JESUS. "

And that casual conversation has stuck with me so, so much. 

(also-shoutout to my roommate for having this cool coffee mug. this is actually how you should start off a morning)
Those spriggly things- they ain't Jesus. 
they may be everywhere and they may poke you and prod you and feel like thorns.
those little attacks- those are the weapons of spiritual warefare.
But God's truth is bigger and better because He IS Jesus, and so I'm writing these truths on sticky notes and placing them all around because I need these reminders this week and you should write them down if you need them too:

"Be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

"I am doing a great work and cannot come down" Nehemiah 6:3

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Matthew 6:26

 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself" Matthew 6:34 

"brothers and sisters, 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." Philippians 4:8

So I guess I should end with- put on that full armor of God, stand firm, take up the shield of faith... and don't sweat the spriggly things- THEY AIN'T JESUS. Or something like that.  (:

Sunday, August 28, 2016

13 Things I've Learned this Week....

1. I'm going to be sticking around Dallas for a little while, so I should (maybe) slow down on trying out all. the. places...

H&G Sply Co
 (someone hold me back for real)

Ascension Coffee

Velvet Taco
2. New brunch friends are the best friends though

2. Groupon is also your best friend

3. There is so much to do here I can't even believe it

4. I'm addicted to this stuff:

5. This is my view every time I go to buy groceries. I can deal.
Or maybe I can't deal.
I love this.

(**also, you shouldn't take pictures while driving. teehee)

6. If you try Spotify Premium for a week, no matter the circumstances after, you will be spoiled and have to purchase a Spotify subscription.

7.  I may need a puppy.

8. Maybe the grass really is greener:

9. I miss these girlies a LOT:

10. I don't know anything about Dallas sports teams, so until someone talks me into cheering on a team (SOS help) and getting some fan gear, I'm still reppin' Athens I Love You t's.

11. I'll be hanging around here a lot!!

12. The Lord is faithful. And love is a commitment. (the porch) Thankful the Lord chose ME and chose YOU and is committed to loving me and you, so we can commit to loving relationships. God is GOOD.

13. So thankful for the prayers, notes, texts, calls, (snapchats), and more this week. My heart is so stinking full. and life is so stinking good. I feel like I'm living the dream for real!! I can't stop smiling. thank you Jesus! 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

names, not numbers

I'm currently sitting in the middle of Dallas, eating a sandwich, and pretending I know how to navigate these new highways. amen for Maps. and Waze. (all the praise hand emojis for these actually). I wish you were sitting in the car with me right now, because I'm sure we'd probably be laughing real, real hard about how many u-turns and re-routes were just made to grab this sandwich. It's fun though. & all sandwiches here come with guac. & it doesn't even cost extra!! Tex-Mex for the win!

These past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of all the feels and emotions. A few weeks ago, I got my hair cut by someone new to me in Athens- Danny. I was walking downtown and decided to stop in and get a haircut real quick for convenience-sake.

He asked me what I was planning on doing post-grad and I told him I was moving to Dallas in three weeks to go to Dallas Theological Seminary and do some marketing for Chick-fil-a.

His reply- "Whatever you do...just do not fall in love here in Athens. in the next three weeks. That would suck." -Danny's life advice

Homesickness hit me hard for Athens the following week and I hadn't even left town yet! I'd be lying if I said I hadn't driven by our old house everyday since the day our lease was up just to see it and remember and relive those days all over again. (& to watch the sunset because the sunset views & community 100% make up for our old house's lacking infrastructure and working appliances)

One of these drive-by days, Nat King Cole's Unforgettable came on and I about lost it. Because in these three weeks I have realized I've fallen in love with Athens! (Thanks Danny) & even though the song doesn't really have to do with finishing up school and new chapters, it does have to do with life and love and makes you all sappy inside dang it!

I've tried avoiding most eye contact and introductions in Athens recently because I just don't want to become anymore attached!! NO ONE HUG ME, I WILL CRY. (but actually do- just expect some tears)

BUT- I am so, so thankful to have people and a city and so many that have made saying "see you soon" so difficult. These past years have truly been Unforgettable.

Every other time I'm in the car, the song Indescribable has been playing. I feel lately, God has really been showing me...HEY. I've got you. DO YOU NOT REALIZE I HAVE PLACED THE STARS IN THE SKY AND I KNOW THEM BY NAME?! And I know YOU BY NAME?! I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU!!  He has reminded me of this constantly in the craziest ways. including a dream job in Texas while I'm in seminary:

This job came about in a really cool way too. One morning, I woke up really early at my aunt and uncle's house and just felt desperate to ask Jesus that if Texas was his plan for me, then why was finding a job so difficult? I went outside and sat on their porch and prayed...LORD JUST MAKE THIS JOB-FINDING PROCESS AND MOVE EASY IF THIS IS YOUR PLAN. (I have journals that say this! In capital letters and all!)

A few minutes later, I received a text (this is for real- I can not make this stuff up) from a Texas family who I had talked to about renting from months before- asking me if I would still be interested in renting from them in the fall. I told them no, I was actually looking for a job first, but I'd get back with them about housing. We talked a bit more...little did I know that the guy I was talking to was looking to hire in marketing! I had a phone interview a week later, and got the job!! God is so good. (and so is working for the cows!)


A few weeks ago, my Grandfather Sterling sent this picture to me that he took on one of his many trips out west, and I have looked at it every day since!

1. How cool is my Grandfather Sterling for taking this picture? (he's 70 btw)


2. HOW AWESOME IS OUR GOD WHO PLACED THESE STARS IN THE SKY AND HE KNOWS THEM BY NAME? These stars aren't just numbers. They have names. And He knows them. And you aren't just a number. You have a name. And HE KNOWS IT. Indescribable.

When I stepped off the plane in Dallas a few days ago, I started thinking...what am I doing?! Is this right!? Lord, am I in the right place!?!?!?!?! Because no one in Texas is bleeding red and black (go dawgs) currently, and this feels funny.

A few months ago, I really started praying about seminary in Dallas and if it was the right next step for me. And every time, the Lord has just said YES. repeatedly. And I keep saying NO and denying it, until He pushes me forward again. I don't think I've ever felt more tunnel-visioned about a next step.

Back to stepping off the airplane in Dallas- I was freaking out! On the outside, I probably looked like I knew what I was doing and that I knew exactly where to grab my bags and a ride into the city. But on the inside, I was a total hot mess. I started praying about and for my uber driver (specifically that he wouldn't be crazy and creepy tbh) since I was about to spend the next 30-40 minutes in the car with this person. (and praying that he wasn't a killer. at this point I was running on a 3:00am wake-up-call and lots of coffee, so dramatic thoughts and fears that my uber driver was a killer were real high)

I saw that the uber driver's name was "Dady" on my phone before he pulled up to DFW airport and I laughed a little to myself because just a few weeks ago, I stayed at Madame Dady's guest home in Haiti, which was one of the best trips of my life. A small reassurance and head-nod that I was in the right place....surely though, Dallas uber driver Dady couldn't be from Haiti...because that would just be a crazy coincidence! But then, uber driver Dady pulled up and I recognized his accent INSTANTLY.

He probably was way more anxious than I was initially when I yelled, "DADY, ARE YOU FROM HAITI?!!?!?!" as soon as he grabbed and loaded my bags. "I HAVE VISITED HAITI A FEW TIMES!! IT IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE PLACES!!!" He had moved to Dallas from Haiti 7 years before. And then I just about cried in the backseat of the uber out of happiness and he just about cried in the front seat out of happiness and then we both cried because we were laughing about life and Jesus and home.

We started speaking a little bit of creole and talking about Haiti and Haitian food. AND about how each night in Haiti, our team would sit rooftop at Madame Dady's and look at the stars and talk about life and Jesus and home.

Reassurance. Unforgettable. Indescribable.

& here we both were... so far away, yet home away from home, in the middle of 8:00am Dallas traffic!

Before my first trip to Haiti, I had the same feelings I've been having about Dallas.... doubts, insecurities, what-ifs, and countless is-this-right's?!?!! But the Lord continuously reassured me and said... HEY I'VE GOT YOU. And the few times I've gone to Haiti have been the most unforgettable, indescribable trips I could have imagined! I've met many people and many new names on these trips.

Lately, my good friend Alex has been reminding me of Ephesians 3:20...

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."

Immeasurably more!! These past four years in Athens have been the best years of my life...and the LORD STILL PROMISES IMMEASURABLY MORE

And I think sometimes that means a few u-turns. Sometimes it means a few re-routes. Sometimes it means some Texas BBQ with new friends and names: 

I'm actually on my way back to Athens today for a few more days before I make the permanent move out west. But WOW IS MY HEART SO FULL AND EXCITED. So thankful for the names I've met. So thankful for the names to come. So thankful that our Lord continuously shows us immeasurably more in crazy unexpected ways. like a few sunsets. and a few stars. and a few sides of guac. 

Reassuringly unforgettable and indescribable.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

If we were having coffee right now....

whoah, whoah, whoah. long time, no see! So I'm giving away a super cool t-shirt to make up for it after our coffee date :)

If we were having coffee right now...
I'd tell you I couldn't sleep this morning so I picked some coffee up for us and watched the sunrise on the drive back home. (then spilled said coffee all over at a sudden red light. oops! true story)

Talking about true stories and driving- if we were having coffee right now....
I'd confess that I got pulled over for the first time a few days ago.

Sometimes we drive in circles around the neighborhood because the song's too good and summer  is too short.

Sometimes we drive in circles around the neighborhood because the conversations are too good and life is too short.

Sometimes it takes some blue lights and conversations with patrol officers to teach you that driving in circles around and around makes you look like you're up to no good.

Conversations with the officer went like this:

(to set up the scene: it's midnight and the blue lights pulled us over after doing about 14 leisurely loops around the neighborhood with roommate Alex) 

Roommate Alex: "It's okay Haley. Don't freak out. We're okay. We're not doing anything. We're just talking."
*police walks up to car window*
Officer: "Excuse me maaa'am, but can ya tell me why you are going 'round and 'round the neighborhood?"
Me: "I'm so, so sorry!! We were just chatting about life! and um... having some girl talk!!"
*officer laughs*
Police: "Well you're scaring the neighbors. You need to ride home and park it."

*police on patrol mic. cue southern country accent*
Kcccshhhhfuzzzfuzzz "Nooope, I don't need backup. Just a res-i-daint and her girlfraaand ridin' in circles havin' some 'girl-talk'"

LOLOLOLOL. oops. #notadelinquent
cue end of neighborhood circles since then. #sorryneighbors

If we were having coffee...
I'd ask you what your favorite moving/packing foods are. I'd have to say pizza and pb&js are the most perfect moving foods. Should I change the blog name to pizza and pb&js?! Because both make up 99.9% of my diet right now.

If we were having coffee...
I'd tell you I actually just lied. Because ice-cream makes up about 99.9% percent of my diet right now too. So now I'm a liar and a delinquent. dang it!

If we were having coffee right now...
I'd tell you Athens, Georgia has my heart...and I might just cry a few tears. A few weeks ago, I told someone that I thought I'd always be a traveler and I never thought I'd settle in one place. Fast forward ONE day. I was sitting in an Athens Church service when I realized... I'm in love with Athens! It hit me. I love everything about this city! So incredibly thankful for this town and the people in it. Sometimes I get really excited about a new move ahead, but sometimes my heart aches because I feel it is HERE too! Jesus keeps reminding me of Jeremiah 29:11- "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

The best is yet to come- I know it and He says so and I'm so excited to see how these plans unfold!

If we were having coffee right now, I'd ask you what Spotify playlists you recommend?! 
I FINALLY GOT SPOTIFY after one of my tenth graders told me I was a Grandma for not having it. And it has changed my life. PB&Js+ John Mayer=best packing combo. With a side of Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, and Jonas. #nolongeragrandma

And I'd conclude our coffee date asking if you've heard of So Worth Loving

I first heard about So Worth Loving a few years back at Passion. It is an incredible company with a powerful message: Love You- Love People because YOU are So Worth Loving. Empowering businesses are my favorite, and this is a good one!!(check out some more here)

So Worth Loving sent me a t-shirt to giveaway to YOU! All you have to do is enter below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

& be sure to check out all of their other great t's and fun things! 

HEY! This coffee date has been fun. Let's do it again real soon :) Happy Tuesday, friends! 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

summer advice!

 Just a little advice on how to have the very best summer: 

Start weekdays with waffles...

...and follow up with new weekly traditions:

Party like it's 1999...

...all the time.

Travel new places...

 &... new faces. 

Treat yourself to movie nights and popcorn, 

 dress up for the occasion,

...and have meaningful conversations with your royal and loyal friends:

Dream big, worry small. 

 Celebrate often,

& eat lots and lots of ice-cream :) 

Happy, happy summertime friends!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...