Coming Home.

First day home and I’m already on the floor crying.

Why?

I have no earthly idea.

I have so many excuses for my sudden outburst. Maybe I just wanted to sleep, and my brothers kept asking me questions. Maybe it’s that my mom wanted me to do dishes and I haven’t even used any. Maybe I realized all my friends are so far away and I conveniently dropped my phone in a toilet.

All of these lame excuses and reasons for feeling bad for myself, but didn’t I already know that things weren’t going to be peachy coming home? Haven’t I been preparing my heart for this? Praying for patience and thinking of ways just to serve my family. What happened, Jesus? I thought I was ready!

The seven hours I been home have already made me lose my nerve, and forget all the things that I have learned over the semester.  If I’m completely honest I was a complete wimp. In my mind I knew it was the enemy, but I all to readily fell into the trap. I not only made a complete fool of myself, but also made it seem that I didn’t even want to be home which I know hurt my family. I knew that this time home was when I was to really apply what God had taught me, and I failed. Epicly.

Then Jesus came.

I can’t even tell you all that He did, but somehow I found myself willing facing my family. I apologized to my mom who probably thought I had some weird psychotic episode (it was bad, y’all) and I told my brothers I would take them to school in the morning. I felt better and finally stopped crying. When I actually sat down to reflect on all that happened it all became clear. That I was/ am completely selfish, and the moment I discerned it was the enemy I should have just walked away from the situation.

I also realized that I was scared coming home. I had this irrational fear that I wouldn’t encounter Jesus the way the I encountered Him at LSU. I realize now that I had it all wrong. Jesus is with me constantly. He was there in the kitchen watching me throw a fit and pour out my anger on my family. He was there in the restroom that I locked myself in and ugly cried for a solid hour. He was there when I stood at my mom’s door for five minutes trying to muster up the courage to knock and apologize. He is here now giving me words to write this post.

I am not alone. I AM NOT ALONE.

Coming home, I believe will be when God will show me new aspects of Himself. He will continue to mold me and gently correct me like He did today. I will go back to LSU with an even deeper faith, and have an amazing testimony to tell my friends. I will encounter Him more than I did this past semester. Coming home for me is my time to really put things into practice. It’s time I take quiet time seriously. I need to start putting the list of ways I can serve my family to use. I’m not gonna sit and waste this break. This is God’s time to continue the work that He has already started in me.

Today was definitely a bumpy start and I’m sure this isn’t the last bump in the road. It would be a miracle if it was…But I know that God won’t give up on me that easily, and He will continue to discipline me while loving me all at the same time.

So I thank God for days like this. Where I go from crying in self-pity to standing in awe of the transformation He has done in my heart.

Thank You.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

Also, I’m still not understanding why my phone isn’t working, Jesus. I mean, I know I was getting a little attached to SnapChat. But can my phone please work now? I have learned my lesson! Forreal, though.

Just in time for Thanksgiving.

Well, I’ve meant to write this post for a while and since Thanksgiving is in a few minutes…it’s perfect!

I just wanted to list some of the things that I’ve just been so thankful for this past year and semester at LSU. I have a bunch but I gave myself a limit of 19; since I’m 19 and all.

19.  Warm, soft, fluffy things.

With the weather getting all cold and stuff; I am more than happy to pull out all of my scarves, socks, hats, and bulky sweaters.

18. Peppermint.

I have this thing for all things peppermint-y. I’m a sucker for peppermint tea, and I put mint in just about anything. Go get some peppermint hot chocolate from Starbucks and your world will never be the same!

17. Hot Bubble Baths.

I have definitely taken the luxury of a bath for granted all these years. Since I’ve been in college, and have been completely stripped away from baths; all I want to do when I get home is sit in my bathtub. I know I have some emotional connection to my bathtub, but don’t judge. Some people just ain’t about that college shower life…

16. YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu Plus.

Thank God for these wonderful video players. Now I will never miss an episode of Scandal, I can watch all my Touched by an Angel episodes, and I have the privilege to spend hours watching pointless videos that distract me from the important things in life.

15. My Childhood.

I revel in my childhood memories. The good, the bad, the ugly. I love them all. Moments like hiding books and sugar packets under my pillow or picking my switches from the tree; those days have molded me into who I am today. I would never change a thing.

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14. Musical Movies.

I have this thing for movies that have songs that I can sing along to. Hairspray, Prince of Egypt, Sound of Music, Disney Princess Movies, and Anastasia are a few of my favorites. “these are a few of my favorite things…”  See, like that!

13. Books.

I have a healthy/ unhealthy attachment to books. The healthy attachment is that I love to read, and I tear through so many books it’s ridiculous. The unhealthy attachment is the fact that I will buy 7 more books when I haven’t even finished the last 2 I bought the day before, and if somebody tried to touch or sell my books I would rip them a new one.

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12. Journals.

I pour my heart out when I write in my journal. I appreciate all the journals I have because I am able to see how far that I have come. I love to go back and read my journal from elementary when I had a crush on William Moseley. Those were not easy times, okay… No Judging.

11. LSU.

I go to the greatest school on the planet. All you other schools just need to go sit down somewhere. Say it with me: Geaux Tigers!

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10. Christmas Music.

Listen to: Dave Barnes – Very Merry Christmas. Matt Wertz – Snow Globe. Nat King Cole – you should already know… Boyz ll Men – Christmas Interpretations. Go, click those links, and let your souls be drowned in all the wonderful Christmas music.

9. Hard Times.

As I’m getting older I am starting to really understand why some things can’t always be easy. Going through hard times and sometimes hurting seems to makes it all worth it in the end.

8. Spontaneous Worship.

Worship. I just love it. My soul sings, and I just come alive when I worship. I love when it isn’t planned and it isn’t rigid or stiff. It’s always raw, real, and refreshing. And it ALWAYS, without fail, leaves me breathless. I will spend all of my days worshiping my Creator.

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7. Africa.

Like I posted in Instagram a while ago. “I miss Kenya. I miss the simplicity. I miss the people and their welcoming nature. I miss Manuel, Jeremy, Emmy, Patrick, Grandma, and Annette. I even miss Georgiana! I miss church, and the 5am prayers. Take me back.”

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6. Lakewood Church.

Where would I be without Lakewood in my life? Lakewood will always be the church that God put in my life to be a lifeline to pull me through all the mess I was dealing with. I rededicated my life to Christ, encountered Jesus, and was bathed in the Holy Spirit at Lakewood. I am forever grateful for all that I experienced there.

5. Antioch Community Church: Baton Rouge.

What a community! I am completely blown away at how much I have grown these past few months. I am challenged to live my life radically and truly live out what the Bible says. I am so captivated by God’s presence at Antioch; I can’t help but be thankful for the opportunity to be a part of what God is doing in His church.

4. Maddie, Oyinda, and Megan (Cheetah Girls/Double Stuffed Oreo).

I am constantly inspired, encouraged, and challenged by how these girls live so wholeheartedly for what they believe in. They strive to make everything they do pleasing to the Lord. I am thankful for Maddie’s “sugar sweet and intuitive” soul, Oyinda’s “prayer warrior” spirit, and Megan’s “tell it like it is” attitude. God knew what He was doing when He brought us all together.We are force to be reckoned with. Watch out world!

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3. Friendship.

I am the luckiest girl alive to be surrounded by a community of people who I can just do life with. I have the most honest, genuine friendships. God must really love me because He has granted me with friends I know will be in my life for a long, long time.

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2. Family.

I can go on an on about how awesome my family is. We are not average. We are messy and chaotic. Loud and spontaneous. Passionate and supportive. Goofy and silly. We are all of these and so much more, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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1. Jesus.

I think y’all already knew this one was coming…

Jesus. My Savior.My Friend. My Foundation. My Creator. My Hiding Place. My Everything. My soul sings at His goodness. My spirit rejoices at His faithfulness. My feet dance because of the joy that He has bestowed upon me.

I am forever in awe and grateful for the wonderful gift of His grace and love that He so freely pours out over my life.

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Selah. 

Getting to LSU.

It is absolutely surreal being on LSU’s campus. I feel so blessed to be here, and I am just in awe of what God has done so far. The few days before coming to college were definitely a struggle filled with tears and a whole bunch of prayer.

August 20, 2013

I don’t understand God. I know you have called me to LSU, but why all the road blocks? I do believe that you are working. I honestly am feeling discouraged about this whole situation. There is absolutely no way to pay, but that is when you really show up and show out, right?

The day before move in day I was sitting at HCC crying my eyes out but ready to enroll into classes there. At that moment it was absolutely impossible for my mom to pay for my tuition. I was completely wrecked, and could not wrap my mind around why God seemed to shut the doors on LSU. I was having this little crisis of faith. I was praying and crying out to God wondering why He brought me so far just to leave me.

Sitting in that little room my mom suddenly told me that we were going home. I was a little confused, but a few days before my mom and I had to have some serious talks about money. I was distraught because I started to think that maybe God didn’t want me at LSU. I was ready to accept it, but I couldn’t understand why. I don’t know what changed my mother’s mind. I did tell her that I knew God wanted me to go to LSU. It sounded so lame when I said it to her at first. Because saying those words and then looking at the billing statement didn’t add up. But my mom had to believe that LSU was where I needed to be or I wouldn’t be here. That night we made a decision and LSU was a go, but we were flying on faith.

August 21, 2013

Lord I know your hand is in all of this. Everything keeps coming up as a road block, but I am still holding on to faith. You have the power to do exceedingly above and beyond all that I can imagine. This waiting is making me stronger and more appreciative of the privilege to go to LSU. I know you have me there for a specific purpose because the enemy is fighting so hard. I know it is done! It’s not over! Your blessings will come raining down more than I can imagine. You are my rock and I believe that I’m going through this to be strengthened. I will be on that campus tomorrow! 

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” – Psalm 143:8

Long story short, God gave me starting grace. My tuition for the first quarter was paid and it was only by God’s grace and power. And the miracles haven’t stopped there! I got books for prices that are unheard of, and I got my biology book (the most expensive book I had to have) for free!

Through out those days leading up to move in day I was constantly writing. I wanted to make sure I was communicating every single thing I was feeling. I knew God was doing a work in me and in the future I would want to go back and read it. I am so glad I did! Those journal entries give me so much encouragement for all the days I lose sight of why I am here. Those days weren’t easy, but I appreciate them and in a way happy that I went through those trying times.

God is faithful. He hears those prayers, sees those tears, and provides for those needs that have to be met.

About Time!

It’s finally here!

Today is the last day I have to take my antibiotics for strep throat! Strep is no joke, and I am bad at remembering to take those pink horse pills.

My last day of school was yesterday. I can now sit down and actually write without worrying about Precal! That class has been a huge pain in my rear end this whole semester. Math and my brain just don’t mix. Now that all my finals are out of the way, I am more than ready to graduate! And I am walking out of high school with 9 hours of college credit (whoop)!

I’ve come a long way from this!

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My grad party is this Saturday. I’m ready to see all my family and friends. Not to mention eat all the good food! Sunday, I graduate! I’m saving all my tears for then. I don’t want to cry until I know for sure that I am completely done with high school. Which is really hard for me to wrap my mind around. I will never walk the halls of Mayde Creek High School as a student again, ever. It’s definitely bittersweet. Growing up is a daunting task. And I don’t know if I want to run back and yell “Take me back!” or strut off yelling “See ya, suckas.” This is a real issue in my mind. I guess this is the time I gotta put on my big girl panties and keep moving forward. See ya, high school. It’s been lovely.

LSU. I have orientation on the 17th. I know what dorm I’ll be in and my roommate! I’ll be choosing my schedule while I’m there and I can’t wait to show my mom the campus. I hope we get to go to New Orleans. I have been craving some of Willie Mae’s fried chicken for about a year and 3 months and 16 days (well I don’t really know how many days…) But I want me some fried chicken!

Africa. 24 days 17 hours 57 minutes! Excuse me while I go freak out in a corner! I can’t wrap my mind around it all. I am about go to Africa. A whole other continent! I am so not ready. I just found out that we will be sleeping in a tent and that I need to go buy this so-called tent. Tents and I don’t have a good relationship. We don’t even have a relationship! I mean this is “step out of your comfort zone” to the max. I’m ready though. A little freaked out, but ready. I gotta leave my little prima donna attitude at home. So I’m gonna get all my complaining and whining out while I can. Oh, I have to tell y’all about my little excursion to the nature store. It was horrible. I walked in there wide eyed and concerned about all the animals that look too real. I stayed in there for about 1 minute and 14 seconds before I hightailed my behind out of there. I think I’ll stick to Academy and Amazon to buy all the things I need. I have all my things in order. I got my passport, international insurance, yellow fever vaccine and the little yellow book, my malaria pills, and my ticket to Atlanta. Fundraising has gone extremely well! I only need about $500. Looking back I never thought I would be here and it blows my mind at how awesome God is.

Things are moving forward whether I like it or not. I trying to put on a brave face and say I’m ready, but honestly I am a mess. I have to take it one day at a time, and save all my tears for days when I’m really going to need them.

So here’s to new beginnings!

From my journal: So here’s to starting a new journey! Goodbye high school, it’s been grand! College, please be good to me. I don’t need 15 more pounds, I would like to keep me virginity (let’s not be prude. Boys are hot at LSU!  Okay Bayli, mind on Jesus. I’m just letting you know the struggle is real) and I hope to make lifelong friends and live out amazing memories. Geaux Tigers!