Madly In Love

Philippines

Lucky in love has never been an occurring theme for me. From a young age I had the tendency to believe that I was unlovable or that something was wrong with me, yet I hoped that maybe…just maybe…one day someone would come along who thought I was worth loving.

Through several seasons of life and more odd circumstances than I know what to do with, it’s hit me little by little, then all at once:

If I define myself by my job, I’m only worth a handful of eyelashes and a few tubes of lipstick. If I define myself by my looks, I’m only worth a pair of green eyes, hundreds of freckles, and a couple of beaver teeth. If I define myself by my family and friends, then I’m not worth being an individual. If I define myself by what I’m good at, well, then I’m only worth a good laugh. And if I define myself by my relationships, I never seem to be worth a simple explanation.

But I take a deeper look into the area of life that matters most and realize if I define myself by my Savior, then my life suddenly becomes worth dying for. Whoa. Something so hard to fathom it gives me chills.

My heart thought it needed a love that only this earth could carry. In reality it was looking for the truest and most pure form of love in existence. A love far beyond anything this world has to offer. I could have wasted my whole life searching for the most precious gift that had already been given to me since the moment I was created.

Absolute peace and contentment encapsulate me knowing I have the privilege of being madly in love with my Savior every single day. His love for me was worth dying, which makes my love for Him worth living. A love that can never be broken. To wake up alone every morning and still feel completely whole, is one of the greatest blessings.

Lucky in love or not, I’d be lying if I said I got gypped when it comes to love. My life is happily full. Whether or not God wants to bless me with a love beyond what He’s already given is completely up to him.

Happy Valentine’s Day 💕

#madlyinlove #canyallstoptryingtosetmeupnow #thanks

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Pick Something

Pick something. Pick something today that you’ve always told yourself “I could never.” Then go and try it. Get a little dirty. Fall flat on your face. Fail miserably. Then go back and try it again tomorrow. Repeat this pattern every day until the thing you said you would never be able to do, becomes the thing you’re doing. Only then will you realize that you were never a failure, just a slow success. With the right attitude you have nothing to lose. Effort means you can only gain. You gain wisdom, you gain knowledge, you gain strength, you gain endurance, you gain self-discipline, you gain perspective and you get to learn a whole lot along the way. Once you understand that you are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for, the possibilities are endless. Then you get the privilege of encouraging others on their journey.

headstand

Hayley Elise

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Worth Celebrating

reflection

Trust me, I get it….I’m the annoying girl on social media always talking about Jesus. Can’t say I’m sorry about it. When my heart is overflowing with joy, I just have to give praise where praise is due…can’t help myself!

This week 27 years ago, I was born. But this week 13 years ago I was finally brought to life. Reflecting on how much change and growth has taken place within those years has me completely overwhelmed at the goodness and grace God has brought into my life.

You all know the friendly, goofball I am today. The positive, upbeat, hardworking girl, who trips over air, wears her pants inside-out, says cheesy things, and is not afraid to laugh at herself. I’m a mess, but a completely different kind of mess from the disaster I used to be.

Sad as it is, my life was once ruled by negativity and insecurity. All I wanted was to fit in. I longed for some kind of talent or skill to define me. Good at nothing and fearful of everything. I was made fun of for being nothing more than a chubby, freckle-faced kid. I began to believe it. At times, I thought my life was a useless waste of space. The mirror was an enemy Satan used to feed me his lies. Not an ounce of self-worth. At my lowest, I begged God to take me off this earth; trying to convince Him that no one would even notice I was gone. Only now do I realize how much His heart must have broken to hear my thoughts.

My life began to take a turn for what I thought was worse:

We were supposed to be watching my sister graduate that night. The auditorium filled with chaos as we ended up watching my grandmother die instead.

Never had I felt such a thick layer of darkness come over my world as I did the night I found out my aunt killed herself.

There was the morning I watched the devastation cross my dad’s face as he got news of his brothers sudden and unexpected death.

I also remember the rainy New Year’s Eve I spent in a cold hospital waiting room. With watery eyes, I stared at the single drop of blood on the pillow next to my best friend’s lifeless body.

Death became so real to me. I think that’s the same time life started to become real also.

How thankful I am for the very last opportunity we had to visit my uncle battling Alzheimer’s. He smiled at me though he had no idea who I was. Since conversation was difficult to come by, my sister opened up to the book of Psalms and began to read. I watched my uncle close the eyes on his frail body, tilt his head toward heaven and quote every single verse word for word. Goosebumps rushed over my body at one of the most beautiful moments I had ever witnessed. God’s word was powerful. This kind of beauty had nothing to do with appearance or talent, but rather a condition of the heart.

That was the day I took a sharpie to a mirror. Instead of focusing on my skewed view, I scribbled verses all over that mirror of the things I hoped to reflect…in every aspect of life…because that was an unfading beauty. The only thing I could possibly control in life was my own attitude, actions, and willingness in allowing God to do His work in transforming me from the inside out.

He’s had His work cut out for Him.

It was in the midst of death, I finally realized the value of life; including my own. Not only was it a precious gift, but was overwhelming to think someone else found so much beauty, value, and worth in me, that He was willing to die for it.

My life will never be free from pain, hurt, or trials. God loves me far too much to make it easy for me. However, I’m absolutely blown away by the life I get to live free from worthlessness, comparison, jealousy, pride, anger, envy, anxiety, worry, etc. He’s made my faith far greater than any fear. I’ve got plenty moments of weakness, especially with the enemy knowing to hit me right where it hurts the most. But never is there a chain my Savior cannot break. Though I don’t always know what He is working on, He has somehow managed to bring so much purpose and potential to an ordinary girl like me.

How scary that I almost let myself get in the way of His wonderful work. My soul has slowly been set on fire over the course of 13 years; I can hardly wait to see how He uses the rest of it!

That’s a birthday worth celebrating

Hayley Elise

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Always A Kid At Heart

Thanks for all the birthday love!!! No doubt I’m the most blessed girl in the whole entire world to have such amazing friends and family Can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for 27. ‪#‎jeezimold‬‪#‎lifeisstilltooshortnottolaughatyourself‬ ‪#‎andtheywonderwhyimsingle‬

New age, new adventures. Determined to make 27 a good one….full of all kinds of cheesy shenanigans.🙂

❤ Hayley Elise

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Finding Balance

“Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears my words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” Luke 6

What a blessing that my life has gone in every single direction, other than which I had planned. It’s been choppy, and it’s most certainly been turbulent. God’s grace alone has revealed my endless weakness, allowing me to rely on Him alone and stand strong in ways I didn’t think possible. Even when the waters get rough, I never have to question the solid foundation on which I stand. Though each new day brings surprises of its own, there flows a deep stream of joy, confidence, and peace within my veins, rejoicing that His ways are so much higher than my understanding.

“Cast your burdens upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

Balanace

❤ Hayley Elise

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Falling For Haiti

This past weekend I returned from a trip to an orphanage in Haiti. As always, God had His hand working in every aspect of it. Another absolutely breathtaking experience.

Meet Baby Daniel. This beautiful soul was found in a dumpster shortly after being born. I have to fight back the tears every time I see his precious face. My heart is torn to shreds over the fact that these amazing kids don’t have the love of at least one parent in their lives. But what’s been so amazing is to see Gods love flow throughout this orphanage in so many different ways. Despite age, color, size, or any other life circumstances we get to share in the love of our Heavenly Father together. ‪#‎family‬

Baby Daniel

If you ever have the chance, don’t think twice. Just go.

“Religion that God, our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27

❤ Hayley Elise

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A Little Loopy

So you’re a little different. The best people usually are.

 

Loopy

 

Growing up I always hated that I never fit in anywhere. Now I’m thankful for the understanding that I was never meant to. God had other plans for me🙂

Don’t be afraid to get out there and make a difference by adding a little color to the world. It’s a privilege and a blessing not many of us take advantage of.

❤ Hayley Elise

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Locks Of Love

12 inches lighter! One of the many things that sets my soul on fire, is doing my best to begin every day with an attitude of thanks and giving with all God has given me. No matter how much or how little I may think I have in life, there is still always an abundance of ways to give. I have so much to share! Never underestimate the power of a dollar, a minute of your time, a kind word, the simplicity of a smile, or even something as silly as your hair. It’s never silly to the one receiving it!

Locks of love

Hayley Elise

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Above Jewels

Above Jewels

Proverbs 31:10

“An excellent wife who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.”

jewels

Being extremely single, I could argue this scripture not being relevant to my current life situation. So easily I could brush these words off, never allowing them to encourage their deep virtue within my heart. Joke would be on me! The truth of that fiery statement burns its way through my mind, screaming that the extremely single woman I am is obligated to this scripture more than anyone.

No matter her status, I believe every woman should find her worth to be far above jewels in living the most excellent life she possibly can, wherever she is at.

Contrary to media, the Bible defines beauty in character. God designed all women to be beautiful and excellent; the choice is ours whether or not we allow Him to develop that beauty within us.

“Your adornment must not be merely external-braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

The 31 woman exudes these beautiful qualities; far more excellent than any piece of clothing, jewelry, or makeup could camouflage. Her character stands out among women. Integrity is the basis on which she molds her character. Her wisdom, knowledge, and values are a deep well. She is a refreshing oasis in the middle of the desert; a diamond in the rough. Her faith is the beautiful song that defines her. Her obedience to the Lord is observed in her hands. The joy of the Lord beams through her smile. No darkness or selfishness is found in her. She is excellent because she finds her worth in the Lord and nowhere else. The sparkle within her shines more brilliantly than any jewel ever could.

Billy Graham makes a pretty convicting point:

“Too many women have too much leisure time for their own good. They have time for criticism, gossip, faultfinding, and complaining. They have time for idle games and lay too much attention to things of the flesh. There are other women who have too little time for the enduring things of life. They are too busy flitting about doing this and that. They have great activity and much doing, but they lack time for building Christian characters. Both kinds of women – the too-idle and the too-busy need to take time for meditation and quiet repose in prayer to God. They need time to cultivate their souls that in turn they may cultivate their children’s lives.”

When I take a look around to see what single men these days have to offer, I am mostly disgusted. Why can’t they be more like the man of Proverbs 31:1-9? Then I look to the girls and it’s no wonder. Allowing ourselves to be caught up in the foolishness of this world, we don’t have much to offer either. How can we pursue excellence if we are smothered in the dirt of materialism?

If we have time to dwell on things of the world, we have plenty of time to dwell on the things of God.

It is impossible to be both a woman of God and a woman of the world.

“Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.” 1 Timothy 3:11

Then comes the dreadful notion of self-evaluation. Being completely honest with yourself is brutal. However, it has to be done in order to grow.

I have to ask myself some unequivocal questions. Who am I now and who do I want to become? What story does my character tell? Am I closer to looking like the 31 woman or the woman Billy described? Do I strive for excellence in every aspect of my life? More importantly, how would the Lord view my character? What is my attitude in all situations? How pure are the motives of my heart? Do I dwell on the things above?

One thing I always want to be sure of is that I seek qualities and characteristics of the 31 woman as to honor the Lord above anyone else; pursuing these things day in and day out because I fear the Lord as my utmost and genuine intention.

The point is that excellence is an attitude, an intention, and a condition of the heart. Claiming to someday give The Lord, as well as a future husband, the very best in a marriage means absolutely nothing when not even willing give God the very best of my singleness today. Faithfulness in practicing excellence, no matter the current life situation, will produce greater potential in holding to that promise in a marriage one day.

Even in my singleness I can maintain a value far more worthy than jewels; that makes me smile.

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.” ~Max Lucado

Hayley Elise

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Happy Monday!

Happy Monday my beautiful friends🙂

Can you believe March is already here?

With the amount of heaviness filling my heart lately, I have almost forgotten how blessed I truly am. Thank goodness the Lord treats me far better than I actually deserve. Joy fills my heart this lovely morning as I am reminded of the extreme faithfulness I receive each day. Don’t forget how much you are loved even when it feels like nothing is going your way. As you begin a new month, a new week, and a new day, I encourage you to allow the Lord to do amazing things in your life. Even when it feels like nothing it happening, I guarantee you He is working. God is always for you, never against you.

“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope, the Lord’s loving-kindnesses indeed never cease, His compassion’s never fail. They are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:21-23

❤ Hayley Elise

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