06.15.2016

Resolved to Win

Columbine - Resolved to Win I wrote about the Columbine flower on my Instagram the other day. It’s a stunningly beautiful flower that is one of my new favorites.

It’s meaning is “resolved to win”. That resonated so deeply with my heart. We are serving at a summer camp where we get to see high schoolers see Jesus for the very first time.

We serve a God resolved to win souls in a very tangible way.

In the midst of tragedy, we are in a place where we are surrounded by friends who wrestle with the unfairness of terrorism and who Jesus is in the midst.

We serve a God resolved to win over evil.

When I saw this flower, I was so overcome by the Lord’s resolution to win over broken souls in a broken world.

Photo Jun 13, 5 50 32 PMBut as His child, my resolution is the same. I’m not the savior, but I am resolved to win because my savior has won me. I can claim his promises as my own.

In disappointing moments where I don’t understand the plan.

I am resolved to win over anxiety.

When I don’t want to forgive.

I am resolved to win over my bitterness

On days where it feels as though I don’t make a difference.

I am resolved to win because I serve a God resolved to win me.

06.01.2016

The Things I Get to Do

MountainsI get to wake up to mountains every morning. That’s not a luxury I take lightly as a Texan city-girl.

I get to share a house with 6 other families, I get to share living spaces with their 13 kids, I get to share fridge space and help with dishes and make enough popcorn to share.

I get to be married to a Young Life Area Director who has an assignment in Colorado this month. I get to help him keep things organized so that high schoolers can have the best week of their lives. I get to watch him master a job that keeps him busy 24/7. I get to watch him love on all the leaders that come through with their students each week.


Arrival at CampI get to wake up to the mountains and pray that each week 500 high schoolers get to know who the one who created them.

I get to cheer them on when they get off the bus after a long drive. I get to encourage the high school and college students who are giving up a month of their summer to volunteer at the camp and serve their peers.

I get to be friends with 10 other women who live the same life I do. I get to share my joys and struggles without having to explain anything, and they get to do the same. I get to push their kids on the swings and babysit them on their husband’s one night off.

I get to do date night in the middle of nowhere. I get to spend time with my husband on Monday nights (which is ironic since that is usually the night that’s never available).

Date Night

We’re on day 4 of week one and I’m so thankful for all these things I get to do.

 

04.26.2016

Our New, Lively Home

Our Lively Home

Well friends, we have a new Home Sweet Home! We’ve boxed up and said goodbye to our lavishly extravagant one bedroom, third floor apartment that was reasonably priced and where parking was abundant and definitely did NOT have airplanes flying over 24/7 (note my sarcasm).

Now we’re the only people who park here and grocery unloading doesn’t leave me out of breath.

And in all seriousness, we love it. I don’t know why a house feels so much more like a home to me because it’s really the people that makes a home but this little cutie is doing the trick. For the most part it’s the exact same stuff and we’re the exact same people but it’s all so different.

It kind of fell into our lap in a way only God could make happen, it’s a blessing we could have never imagined! This house will have so much life in it and we can’t wait to see everything that happens under this roof. It really is a lively home.

I’m a little overwhelmed at all the potential there is to be perfectly organized and decorated but we’re so excited to make it our own. And I’m really excited to share it all on here with you!

And to all of you experienced homeowner’s what do you remember most about your first house and moving in? I’d love to hear your stories!

 

02.12.2016

Happy Love Playlist AND a $500 Target Giveaway!

HAPPY LOVE

Have you ever noticed that music about love tends to be really slow? I get it, it’s sweet, it’s meaningful, all that. But sometimes you want windows down and smiling and laughing love music! So since it’s going to be sunny and 75 this weekend (unless you’re on the east coast…sorry friends, you can’t catch a break!!) I made you a happy love playlist for a happy love weekend, Happy Valentine’s day!

And as a bonus valentine’s present, I want to give one of you lucky reader’s a $500 Target Gift Card! Think of all the makeup and toiletry items you could buy!! Enter below and go follow my fellow co-hosts, all of their websites are fantastic and it’s been so much fun to collaborate with them! [Read more…]

02.09.2016

Books I Read in January

I have set a lofty New Year’s Resolution for myself to read 52 books this year, that’s right, I did the math and that’s one book a week. This may seem impossible to some people but I should preface that I read incredibly fast and have been reading since the ripe old age of 4. That’s right, I was full blown reading at 4. So books and I? We have a good relationship.

Not to say this is an easy goal for me, I am all too happy to opt to watch Netflix instead of read so making reading a priority definitely takes effort.

Here’s what I’ve read in January and what’s on the docket for February:

Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill – ***

This book is a memoir about being raised in the church of Scientology and then leaving as an adult. (for some reason, memoirs of those in extreme religious lifestyles completely fascinates me) I went into reading this with no prior knowledge about Scientology so it was very fascinating to learn about it from a firsthand perspective. That being said, the terminology is really complicated, everything has an acronym and it’s really quite confusing to follow. I wish there had been more on her life after leaving the church but overall it was a nice informative read. Not my favorite memoir by a long shot.

The Book of Joan – Melissa Rivers ****

I’ve never read any of Joan River’s books, in fact, I really didn’t know much about her before she passed away but her humor – although vulgar at times – is so interesting to me. Her honesty about herself and the world is really somewhat refreshing, I just wish she would lay off the curse words for shock value. Yeesh. But this book is really very sweet since it is written by her daughter. Who knows your funny stories better than your family? It’s a mix of hilarious and sentimental with lots of wisdom thrown in. Of course there is profanity in this book but I don’t remember it being very frequent.

I’ve recommended this book to a few people I know can handle the language. I just think it’s just fun to read about how Joan River’s went through life and how Melissa saw it all. Sweet read.

Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom – Julia Child ****

Imagine all of Julia’s tips and tricks from all her TV shows and cookbooks wrapped up concisely into one Bible of kitchen knowledge. This is it! I read it on Kindle after checking it out from the library but I want it in physical form to keep in my kitchen! She describes things so well and goes through all the basic recipes (soups, sauce, chicken, cake, desserts, etc) and then gives a list of variations to use to make it your own. It’s a fantastic book to give as a gift to someone who wants to cook more or has never cooked before. Her charm is evident even in her written words and it’s confident boosting to even the most amateur of chefs!

Eat that Frog – Brian Tracy *****

This book on productivity is fantastic! It walks you through step by step how to tackle the big tasks on your to do list and gives the psychology being productivity, aka how it’s beneficial to you. I read this book on Kindle also but need the physical copy to highlight and underline a MILLION different things. Each chapter has a call to action at the end that you can do right then! I’m about to go into business for myself full time, and I’ll be writing all about it later on but for now, reading these books has been so encouraging as I take on business all on my own. This book is a must read for anyone looking to increase their productivity.

 

Have you read any of these books? Do you have any recommendations to add to my list this year?

 

01.29.2016

weekend benediction

Back when this blog was Living in the Rain, I would take time each week to sit and be mindful and write a sending prayer for the weekend, a benediction, something hopeful for the weekend after whatever sort of a week it was.

I loved it, I would take some pictures during the week of some hidden beauty and pray over it for the week. I so desperately want to do that again so here I am. My soul needs these moments, something to work for during the week.

So here I am, waiting for the words to come, scrolling through my camera and realizing I haven’t taken a picture of something beautiful in quite a long time, I haven’t really stopped to notice beautiful things in everyday life. So this post has a dated picture that was taken a long time ago when I noticed the sky while filling up with gas, but the hope is current.

Tragedy has struck different friends of mine lately, all different losses, all the same pain. Something isn’t there that was there before. Something they loved, and they didn’t know they were going to lose it. And I stand on the outside, watching them hurt, hugging as hard as I can and praying they feel the comfort I try so desperately to give.

Maybe that’s why I haven’t looked up lately, I’m too busy looking around, closing my eyes to pray and praying others I love are spared from the hard, rough edges of this broken world.

And that’s my prayer for you, friend.

I pray that this weekend, comfort finds you in the still small moments when you are reminded of a void in your life.

I pray that strength finds you when you think you’re weak and helpless and I pray that every hug you receive is surrounded by the peace of your Savior.

Peace be with you, friends.

 

12.03.2015

Christmas Cram

Christmas Cram

You know how when stores start advertising Christmas at Halloween it’s called “Christmas Creep”? I have my own thing, it’s called “Christmas Cram” Where I do everything Christmas related NON STOP from December 1st up until Christmas. Because it is not socially acceptable to do so after December 25th (Can I tell you I accidentally typed Christmas 25th originally. Like the month is named Christmas.)

Crafts, Baking, Listening to Music, Watching Christmas movies, the whole she-bang and I want to share it with you.

First off, set the stage for your Christmas infused week. This means music is top priority. Here are my favorite albums this year.

Hillsong United – We Have a Savior
Sufjan Stevens – Songs for Christmas
Sara Groves – O Holy Night (You can play this one year round. I do. Because the Gospel.)
This Warm December
Jillian Edwards – All My Christmases

Oh and I made you a playlist too! Merry Christmas, may the cramming commence.

 

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11.07.2015

Back in the Rain – but Smaller

View More: http://kendallhannaphotography.pass.us/kaileyrobertwedding

Hello there! I am back on my little corner of the internet with a new name (for the blog and my physical self), a new husband and a new website. I started from scratch after my blog posts disappeared while I was on my honeymoon. It’s sad but I still have the words saved in journals and Word documents but I think instead of re-posting all of them, I’m going to keep most of them to myself (you’ll still find a handful around here).

 

You may have noticed that the rain theme has continued in a different way. This blog started as “Living in the Rain” almost 5 years ago when I discovered I had severe anxiety in college and I felt as though I was living in a chaotic, nonstop storm. And much like rain I had to choose if the storm was going to help me grow or knock me down. I chose the first. I started pouring out my heart online, it was cathartic and scary and helped me find a sense of community online and began to teach me how to use the internet for good.

 

A lot has happened since then, I graduated college, moved back to Dallas where I grew up, got a full time job, got engaged, got married and am now working on new career opportunities. And somewhere in all of that, the rain stopped. Life got busy, anxiety remained but was managed and I kind of stopped doing things that made my heart come alive, like reading and writing and cooking and learning. I realized that as a grown up in the real world with the same schedule week by week, life to the full happens in smaller moments instead of in the wide expanse of free time in college. So I started focusing on the small things and realized my life wasn’t really in the rain anymore, but a combination of raindrops. All the little moments, extra minutes, little joys and little choices began to grow into a big picture. A full, beautiful life doesn’t have to be intimidating. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean all or nothing. Your waiting moments don’t have to be spent scrolling through your phone. Life is about little choices that change habits that change hearts and change the world.

 

So welcome to the Raindrop Blog; where I capture the small things that grow a beautiful life.

I’m so excited for you to join me in this next chapter and I’m covering this next adventure in prayer because I can’t imagine any story worth writing that hasn’t already been written by the author of creation.

03.27.2015

When You Don’t Realize You’re Holding On Too Tight

When You Don't Realize You're Holding on Too Tight

Sometimes you need to pack yourself a lunch just like mom would make and pretend you’re in 6th grade again, that’s what I do at least, sans Capri Sun because hello? I’m a mature grown up.

The other day I was at my desk holding said sandwich when I put it down to answer the phone and saw a huge thumbprint in the side. Apparently I was gripping it with all my might and had no idea. It was a sandwich. Nothing valuable, nothing I needed to protect, didn’t even have cheese on it. But I was holding on for dear life and was sort of embarrassed by it.

I started thinking about other things I’ve been holding onto too tightly. Mostly wedding related things like flower arrangements and cake flavors and lots of things that are only in my mind and heart like dreams and desires for my marriage and my life. Strangely enough, I didn’t even know it until I stepped back and saw my hand prints on it, choking it to death because I wanted control. Holding on tight doesn’t create safety and security, it creates tension. Because guess where dreams go when you hold them really tightly? Nowhere.

May the Lord be with you should you try to pry my hands off the dreams I have clutched so tightly; I have to let go on my own.

And while there’s not a specific day that’s better than another to let go of things, in my personal opinion it would be a shame to waste a sunny weekend holding onto unimportant things. So I’m going to let go a little bit this weekend, how about you?

03.23.2015

An Island Far Away

I got to celebrate the lovely holiday which is spring break even though I am no longer in school. Praise be to God. I got to tag along with my fiance and his family on their vacation to the British Virgin Islands, a place I am still not 100% certain of it’s location though I indeed flew there. Add that to the list of “Things Kailey is super aware of.” We stayed on Virgin Gorda which indeed means “fat virgin” because when Columbus discovered the place, he thought the island looked like a portly woman lying in the ocean. I’m going to go ahead and just assumed he KILLED IT with the ladies also.

The water was gorgeous, I got to sail for the very first time, and much to my surprise there were large hills on the island that were hikeable (and very steep. I just about gave out halfway through.) I just assumed that islands were flat for some reason (back to my super awareness of geography…)

Since there are so many tiny islands nearby, we would just take the boat and go for the day. Nothing feels more adventurous! Nothing feels more humbling either when you’re on hour 2 of sailing and you realize that the Mayflower took months to get to America. So thankful for the pilgrims, but also so glad I wasn’t one of them. I was made for quick trips where snacks are provided. But I can always jump on board for games to pass the time (pun intended).

 

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Now, lest you think this is some sort of romantic getaway based on these carefully chosen photos, full disclosure: his entire family was there too, including a 5 year old and a baby. So it was more of a noisy entourage situation than a ‘you, me and the sea’ situation. But that’s what makes trips like these truly fun, the people that are with you and I’m glad I got to share this with the family that will be my family in a few short months!

Have you ever traveled somewhere with a strange name? Did you go anywhere for spring break?