02.05.2015

The Heart Behind the Name

Living in the Rain: Letting what I can’t control renew me

If you’ve been to this blog at all, you know it’s called Living in the Rain (duh) and you probably thought “Hm, that’s interesting” and then you clicked on About the Blog and hopefully thought “Ohhh I get it! That’s pretty cool!” But maybe you are still wondering “Where in the world did that come from?”

Here’s my answer: I don’t really know.

I had a blog for a while called “Bright and Beautiful”where I talked about always looking on the bright side of life, seeing everything as sweet and wonderful and always being happy (my username was cupcakekailey, how sugary sweet is that??). I got tired of it because I didn’t feel that way all the time and wanted to be okay with being real. This was about the time I found out I had anxiety, and trying frantically to make everything “bright and beautiful” and sugary sweet all the time just wouldn’t work. Ever. And it was wearing me out. Sometimes life was just okay, sometimes life wasn’t okay at all and sometimes, I just had to stand in the middle of something I couldn’t control and figure out how I would respond to it, with joy or with bitterness. Something like rain. I couldn’t change it, I couldn’t make it go away, I couldn’t control it (gasp, I couldn’t have control!) and all I could do was let it help me grow, let it nourish me, let it teach me to rest and let Jesus take over. Just like rain. Much like rain, I also want to encourage growth and create. I want to be willing to make art and live art.

When life is one big storm, your stability depends on your roots, will you let the storm wash away everything sane or will you grow and flourish past the thunder? Where are you rooted and what are you rooted in?

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through this blog is that even if I’m standing in the middle of the rain, I am not alone. I’ve learned the value of community and the impact of words. Not just my words, but your words, too.

It’s a lot to think about when it comes to a blog title. Who do you want people to see in the first two seconds they see your little site? Do you want to hide your mess behind a pink font and words that are true only 10% of the time or will you speak the truth in love, even if it means a typo every once in a while and maybe you don’t even know what the heck you’re talking about anymore?

Are you trying to make everything look hunky dory when you’re falling apart or are willing to rest in chaos?

I still search for the bright and beautiful things, even when they’re harder to find. I try not to take myself too seriously and find joy in the everyday. I choose to live in the rain, rest in chaos and learn to let what I can’t control renew me. I hope you’ll choose the same.

09.30.2014

Distractions and Redirections

Have you ever prayed for a distraction? I have. Every day for the past 3 weeks actually. Ever since everyone else besides me started to hear back from graduate schools. I haven’t heard a word. Not even a no. And all I’ve wanted to do is not think about it which seems nearly impossible.

So I prayed for a distraction. I found a new show to watch on Netflix, reorganized my bookshelf and closet, deep cleaned my bathroom and pretended I wasn’t thinking about it.

I pretended I wasn’t worried that in less than two months  I don’t know where I’ll be living.

I pretended I didn’t care if I didn’t get in anywhere.

I pretended I didn’t feel like a failure.

I pretended I wasn’t worried at all.

So last Thursday, I fasted from graduate school. From thinking about it, from compulsively checking my email, from checking my online applicant accounts, from asking other people where they were going, from bringing it up. And it was beyond difficult. Every time my mind didn’t have anything else to think about, it wandered to what-if’s and I had to consciously steer it away. It took more mental effort to not think about it. I ended the day relieved that I could do it, I could physically not think about graduate school! (More than a small accomplishment)

Then that weekend, I didn’t think about it at all. I spent time with friends celebrating an upcoming wedding, I drank a cup of tea slooowly, I went to a concert, I had conversations that spoke life into the worried parts of my heart, I was shown grace and love in countless ways.

As I came to the realization that I hadn’t thought about grad school once, I began to thank God for distractions to keep my mind from worrying it when He gently helped  me realize that the worrying was the real distraction and He had merely provided a redirection. He opened my eyes to beautiful people and moments and joy that had been so easily robbed by worry about graduate school.

So I’ve stopped praying for distractions, I don’t think God answers that one anyways, I pray for redirection, refocusing and opportunities to see grace instead of seeing potential distress.

I pray you find comfort in the same. As you face this week, may a shift in focus clear the cloudiness that insecurity and unsureness bring.

Full Disclosure– This mentality and motivation is a work in progress. Case in point: I waited to post this because I hoped I would have an answer on my future before I bared my soul on the internet. Not the case. Praying for a redirection as we speak.

Have you ever prayed for a distraction? Has that prayer ever been answered?

09.17.2014

Influence Conference Meet and Greet

I’m going to the Influence Conference for the first time this year! I’m so excited and thrilled to hug the necks of some wonderful women who have poured into me online over the past year and a half.

Last year, I didn’t get to go and figuring it out in these words helped me find a group of women who also wished they were somewhere else, and it was beautiful. This year I get to go and I’m so excited to see what God will do through those moments, as well.

This week, The Influence Network is hosting a little meet and greet link up on their site for the women going to introduce themselves and I’m thrilled to jump in and be a part of it!

Hello! I’m Kailey, a recent college graduate learning how to live life with a full time job and no homework and it’s a different kind of hard but it’s grand thus far! I live in Dallas, TX, the city I grew up  in and I’m slowly but surely making the city my own. I’m a friendly introvert who reads a LOT and writes a little bit. I love to learn and I’m so looking forward to meeting you!

What I’m Most Excited About: Meeting my online friends in real life and learning alongside them. It really feels too good to be true! These are women that are changing the world online and off and they’ve taught me so much through their lives already that I can’t wait to learn with them in person.

What I won’t leave home without: A sweater! A: I get cold constantly, B: The word on the street is that it’s actually fall in Indiana. So this Texan is busting out her scarves and sweaters early people! I will also be toting along my favorite journal because I want every word I hear to stick and that’s the best way I know how.

 

If you’re headed to the conference next week, let me know in the comments! I’d love to meet you online and offline! :)

 

09.06.2014

Weekend Benediction

Give me the grace, Good Lord

To set the world at naught. To set the mind firmly on You and not to hang upon the words of men’s mouths.

To be content to be solitary. Not to long for worldly pleasures. Little by little utterly to cast off the world and rid my mind of all its business.

Not to long to hear of earthly things, but that the hearing of worldly fancies may be displeasing to me.

Gladly to be thinking of God, piteously to call for His help. To lean into the comfort of God. Busily to labor to love Him.

To know my own vileness and wretchedness. To humble myself under the mighty hand of God. To bewail my sins and, for the purging of them, patiently to suffer adversity.

Gladly to bear my purgatory here. To be joyful in tribulations. To walk the narrow way that leads to life.

To have the last thing in remembrance. To have ever before my eyes my death that is ever at hand. To make death no stranger to me. To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of Hell. To pray for pardon before the judge comes.

To have continually in mind the passion that Christ suffered for me. For His benefits unceasingly to give Him thanks.

To buy the time again that I have lost. To abstain from vain conversations. To shun foolish mirth and gladness. To cut off unnecessary recreations.

Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all, to set the loss at naught, for the winning of Christ.

To think my worst enemies my best friends, for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good with their love and favor as they did him with their malice and hatred.

These minds are more to be desired of every man than all the treasures of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen, were it gathered and laid together all in one heap.

Amen

This prayer from Thomas More is one of my very favorites to repeat when I feel like the words won’t come organically. I pray these words breathe true for your deepest desires.

 

Happy weekend Friends.

07.22.2014

Slow Motion Summertime

I thought it would be ironic and wonderful if I ended my radio silence on this space with a playlist for you! (Get it? Radio? Music?? Never mind.)

I don’t know if it’s the sweltering Texas heat or the late sunsets, but it’s the time of year where summer feels like it’s in slow-motion. Everything moves a little bit slower, smiles and laughs last a little bit longer and everything slows down for a moment.

I’ve made a little soundtrack for your slow motion summer days. Play it on the patio, in the living room, while reading, anywhere really. These are songs I can’t get out of my head lately. They feel like summer and adventure to me, I hope they inspire that in you too!

(Here’s the link if you’d rather listen in Spotify -> Playlist here)

What songs do you have on repeat lately? I’d love to know the soundtrack to your summer!

06.09.2014

The Weekend it Felt like Summer

This weekend, it felt like summer. REALLY summer. Not just ‘schools out’ summer but ‘where did time go?’ summer. Summer filled with freedom to suggest crazy ideas and willingness to say “okay, let’s do it!”

From belated birthday celebrations to binge reading books like this one from the library and ‘gardening’ for the first time in forever and just generally laughing more freely.

Waking up to steady rain on the window that fades into sunshine and heat and meandering through the day. Swimming until it got too dark or too chilly and rushing to play tennis before the storm rolled in.
That’s what summer weekends are made of.

This weekend felt like summer. It’s a feeling I’ve missed and hope I can capture more than once this year.

 

Has it felt like summer yet to you?

06.02.2014

Stitch Fix #2

It’s time for another Stitch Fix! My first one came in April and you can read about it here to get a little run-down of what this service is. Basically it’s a style service where for $20 they will pick 5 pieces of clothing based on a style profile you fill you out, you get the box in the mail, try it on with everything you already on and keep what you want (send the rest back for free!) and they take the $20 off of anything you buy (and if you keep all 5 you get 25% off!) The website with more info is here!

This sweet little box was a welcome treat on Friday morning after spilling a perfectly good ‘I’m-rewarding-myself-after-a-run” Starbucks drink before I got to enjoy any of it and got my weekend off to a stylish start!

Now, I always have a mental battle when I get the “your Fix has shipped!” Email…to cheat or not to cheat. Here’s what I mean: once your Fix has shipped  (say that 10 times fast) when you get onto the website, it’s already the checkout page, meaning theoretically, even though you haven’t seen the clothes, you know what’s coming so it’s not totally a surprise. Well I looked this time. And I was already a little disappointed. I saw the word cardigan and sulked. I live in Texas, I will NEVER wear a cardigan in the summer, what were they thinking?? Plus, I had heard about the random ‘bad fixes’ and thought the honeymoon phase was over.

To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. I. loved. every. piece. and I can’t wait to show you!

Left: Bain Abstract Chevron Print Blouse // $58 // Okay this was the one top I wasn’t sure about until I put it on and it is fantastic! It is super lightweight and the perfect summer top. It would look quite great with skinny jeans or nice shorts. I paired it with a denim pencil skirt here but it can be dressed down too. I have a lot of shirts similar to this but a different cut, I’ve been wanting to branch out but not drastically and this is the perfect top to do so. Result: Kept

Right: Jaimie Eyelet Striped Cardigan // $48 // You guys, if there’s such a thing as a summer cardigan, this is it! I live in sweaty hot Texas but I’m a naturally cold blooded person so the A/C inside is usually a shocker to me. Plus I love that it can be dressed up or down! It’s hard to tell in the photo but it’s the perfect material to go either way. Result: Kept

Left: Cai Boyfriend Short // $68// Oh how I love these shorts. I have been looking for some casual jean shorts that aren’t short, short, SHORT, shorts, and Stitch Fix delivered. (AND they fit perfectly!) They look great with almost everything I own and they’re a great summer staple. Result: Kept

Right: Steph Sleeveless Belted Floral Dress// $58// I LOVE this dress. It is so light and flowy and just perfect for any dressy occasion. I also have a problem turning down a cute dress. Result: Kept

Tazo Mixed Floral Print Knit-Back Tank// $54// This might be my favorite from the whole bunch! I’m all about light, printed tops for the summer that can be dressed up or down. Result: Kept

 

Yep. I kept all 5. I didn’t mean to, I swear! But with referral credits and a the 25% discount, I kinda felt like I had to. And I’ve already worn 4/5 of the pieces this weekend so I think I made the right choice. ;)

Have you tried Stitch Fix yet? Schedule your Fix here! It’s a great way to kick of the summer, with some cute new clothes!

Here are a few tips I’ve learned for the next time you order a Stitch Fix!

  1. Be detailed in the notes/comments! Don’t be afraid to be ‘rude’, be specific! This time I told her I would be nannying so I needed comfortable and cute clothes and that I live in Texas so everything needed to be light and wouldn’t show sweat.
  2. Keep the same stylist if you like the clothes you’ve been getting. I have had Rachel both times and she is my cool, new, stylish best friend. You might need to put it in the notes that you want the same stylist but if you like what you’re getting, keep ‘em coming!
  3. Tell them what you DON’T need. I told her I didn’t want jewelry this time, some people request no jeans, etc. If you’re set on a certain type of clothing, let them know!
  4. Be detailed in the checkout. If you love it, give details why. If it’s not your favorite, give details why. It’s helpful and you’re not being high maintenance, I promise!
  5. Be forgiving. This service is amazing but it can’t read your mind and part of the reason it’s so awesome is because it gives you clothes you might not try on in the store, that being said, if you get a ‘bad Fix’ with clothes you don’t love don’t give up altogether! They have a MILLION different clothing choices for every Fix so they’ll just try something different next time!

Have a stylish week, everyone!

05.31.2014

Weekend Benediction

As you enter the weekend, the first of the summer for many of you, I pray that you continue to learn beyond the constraints of a classroom and that you cling to words that are true. I pray that experiences lead to questions and discovery beyond a textbook.

If you feel like you are alone and flailing, I pray that your swinging arms don’t push away the ones who care for you the most.

If you feel stagnant and spiritually dry, I hope a spark catches you at the most unexpected moment and causes a fiery passion in your soul.

I pray you have a chance to chase a rabbit trail and follow a crazy thought. But I also pray that you remember that dead ends aren’t failures, they’re just scenic routes.

I pray that in the vast expanse of summer you don’t forget to dream and create and that God gives you many opportunities to do both to the fullest.

Enjoy your weekend, friends.

05.17.2014

Countdown to Graduation: Finally to Zero!

Day 17: LOVING corn pasta lately.

Day 16: Kappa senior meeting tonight. SO so humbled by the sweet notes and gifts I received! I have loved every moment in this sorority and I’m so thankful for the friends I’ve made. It’s a bittersweet goodbye!

Day 15: Spending time in prayer for fellow graduates today. It’s such an exciting and terrifying time heading into the unknown, what better time to pray!

Day 14: I can’t believe how much progress is being made on the new stadium! Can’t wait to come watch games as an alumni!

Day 13: Touring the Mayborn museum, tiny rocking chairs included.

Day 12: Beautiful day with one lone, little cloud in the sky!

Day 11: It’s amazing how creative you can be with the bare bones left in a pantry, fridge and freezer before moving. Baked tilapia with dill and lemon, roasted green beans and asparagus and quinoa.

Day 10: Cinco de Mayo dinner with these goofballs.

Day 9: At the time, it really made sense to pack everything in the big room….until we could barely move

Day 8: This dork came to Waco to help us move.

Day 7: Last roomie dinner at Chuy’s! We forgot to take a picture at the restaurant so we opted for the selfie in the car. Hilarious. I’ve loved living with these amazing girls!

Day 6: Champagne and the Rangers game with Kristin. aka “Studying for finals”

Day 5: It’s official, I’m immortal in the Neill Morris!

Day 4: Quiet time in an empty bedroom. Nothing remains but Coffee and the Bible. Back to the basics and I’m okay with that!

Day 3: Saying goodbye to campus on a dreary day. Couldn’t be more fitting!

Day 2: Everything is home in Dallas, but for some reason it won’t unpack itself, what’s up with that?

Day 1: Back to Waco and saying goodbye to my now beige room and empty apartment. This place has been home to me this year and I couldn’t imagine a better place to spend my senior year!

Day 0: Today’s the day! Tip to make it through a 3 hour graduation ceremony: make sure your last name falls between two hilarious friends who will make you laugh and take selfies with you the whole time.

 

Thank you for following along my little countdown to graduation! I don’t know what the next steps are but I’m excited for the journey!

05.10.2014

Weekend Benediction

As I pack up a room and end this part of my journey, I can’t help but see hope in every crevice. I pray that wherever you are, you see hope, as well.

This weekend, I pray your endings look like beginnings and that chapters of life flow seamlessly together.

I pray that the voids where something feels missing become vessels waiting to be filled. 

I pray that emptiness becomes a longing for fullness in Christ instead of a longing for fullness of control.

I pray that bare walls that bring sadness echo laughter for as long as they can and that memories aren’t kept in boxes for any longer than necessary.

I pray that as your spring speeds up, your heart slows down to savor every moment in sunshine or in showers.

Have a beautiful weekend, friends.