Showing posts from 2017

What 2017 Means to Me

When I look back at where I was a year ago, I can't believe how much my life has changed.

Sitting at home after my first semester of college, I start thinking about exactly where I've been over the last 12 months. I see the fear and anxiety that burned. I see a girl who painted over her identity with insecurity and trust issues. I see a girl who let discouragement keep her from pursuing what she loved.

I didn't blog very much in 2017. It doesn't really make sense, because one of the few blog posts I wrote this year got a huge amount (for me) of views. You would think having a post with 20 times the usually number of views would inspire me to write more. Instead, I went exactly five months without posting anything. I wanted to be everything I saw other bloggers being, but I didn't think I could measure up. So I didn't write.

Words got harder. Despite them being my passion, I stopped believing they were worth anything. I was desperate to speak, but my mouth was …

Why Your Relationship with God is the Greatest Gift

Going to university terrified me.

I had done well in community college classes. I had chosen a school 20 minutes from home. I had amazing friends at my home church. And I was scared.

High school was tough for me, especially in terms of friendships. I was worried I would carry those problems into college. I've had crippling anxiety because of school before. I was worried that perfectionism would steal my joy.

Every morning, I wake up a little earlier than I have to, and I spend time with God.

How little I appreciated this habit before college. I read my Bible consistently long before I moved into my dorm. I listened to worship music. It was really good. But while I was at Gateway Student Conference in July, I heard God say to me, "this will be one of the hardest seasons of your life, but it won't be the same as other hard times. This time, you know I'm with you."

I know this couldn't be a time I neglected my relationship with God. So many things--friends, sch…

How to be the One Who has it All Together

Going to college for the first time brings a lot of changes. Many of those changes are amazing! However, there is one thing that should never change: how put together you are. With so many new people around you, you don't want to give the impression that your life isn't perfect. "Hadley," you may ask, "How do I make sure everyone thinks I have it all together?" I'm afraid this is no simple task, but here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Don't cry Maybe you are completely lost in your math class, and even though everyone else understands, you can't figure out what's going on. Perhaps your best friend posted on her story a video of her having the time of her life with a big group you weren't included. There's a chance you're having a terrible time figuring out financial aids and loans and feel like you're going to be in debt for there rest of your life. However, crying is not okay. Hold it back and deal with your problems …

Fully Known, Fully Loved

I read a lot about being a freshman in college before I went to college. I have several Pinterest boards dedicated the topic and, while I felt prepared for tough classes and gross caf food, I did not feel prepared to make friends.

Last month, I moved into Dallas Baptist University. I'm only 20 minutes away from home. I go to the same church I've been going to since I was 9. In a lot of ways, it doesn't feel like a huge change. However, if you've gone to university or if you ever talked to someone who attended college, you know that maybe the biggest change happening is internal.

Meeting new people terrifies me. And college is filled with new people. New people who don't know me, don't know people who know me, haven't heard things about me, only know me from stalking my Instagram.

A reason why meeting new people is so frightening to me is trust. For the first several weeks of university, I was paralyzingly anxious because I didn't believe I could trust …

When You Can't Keep Going

A few weeks ago, I climbed up a mountain.

Okay, so it wasn't a technical "mountain," and it wasn't exactly "climbing," but it felt close enough. We hiked up a hill.

It was the last day of our mission trip to Ireland. For the previous five days, we had spent our time and energy playing with and loving kids who desperately needed it. I got weird looks from people when I told them I was going to Ireland for a mission trip--isn't Ireland already a mostly Christian country? According to statistics and the teaching in the schools, yes. Ireland is mostly Catholic/Christian. But going there, I saw people, especially the children I spent time with, dry and in need of Jesus' real grace and truth.

On Saturday night, after the "Big Day Out" put on by the church we partnered with, our trip leader Matthew told us he, and anyone else who wanted to come, was going to get up and walk up this hill we had seen on the beach.

To hike up the mountain and have t…

When You Weren't Invited

Dear friend,

You weren't invited. You weren't noticed. You weren't chosen.
It's past midnight and you're scrolling through Instagram, seeing the fun photos and exciting captions. And you weren't there. 
Why? You wonder. After all your effort and time spent, they overlooked you. And the lies seep in. You're not funny enough. Not pretty enough. Not fashionable or thin or curvy or good enough. The friends you thought were your best stop responding, stop speaking.
But friend, this is not who you are. I've met Rejection a few times, and he's not a nice guy. He weasels his way in and replaces your expectations with disappointment and pain. He steals joy and brings down weeks.
When this bully walks into your life, there are a few things you must remember:
1. You are accepted. Darling, there is a love, a friend, who will always accept you. Yes, you've heard it before. He may not seem like enough now, but when you but your hand in His, Jesus will be with …

The Lost Girl of Astor Street Clue Hunt #17 - Book Review

4.7/5 Stars

The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill

Tornado sirens went off while I was reading the Lost Girl of Astor Street. My first thought was that I’d have to keep reading in the bathroom safe area.

This book had me at the edge of my seat even before Lydia went missing. From Piper to Mr. LeVine, each character came alive within the first words they spoke. I was enveloped in the 1920s, not with flashy name dropping but with living, breathing people who showed me around without showing off.

The Plot
The primary plot is the mystery of Lydia LeVine’s disappearance. Piper refuses to be useless to the investigation, gradually doing more and more to aid the officers involved. But the mystery isn’t the only thread pulled through the novel. Plot lines surrounding Piper’s family, friends, and enemies work together like players in a jazz band.

The twists and turns caught me off guard, exactly as a mystery should, and yet were set up so well beforehand. I laughed, I cried. There we…

New Season

This is my last semester of high school.

Last year, I was desperate to get out of high school. My junior year was, in a word, terrible. There were good moments. It got better towards the end. But I was miserable for a significant portion of my 11th grade year.
My sophomore year, I saw my high school career ending a whole lot differently. I imaged a graduation ceremony with my friends, staying in touch and even as close friends with several of my current high school friends. Now, I'm not good friends with most of the people I was friends with that year.
Six months ago looks much different than right now. I had no idea what the semester would look like. I didn't know who my friends would be, what dual credit classes I would take, or when I would get my license. I didn't know I would get a smart phone, a job, and a two hour drive to debate club. I had no vision for the rest of the year or the next.
I spent the fall semester figuring things out.
I found myself doing something I…