Thursday, January 9, 2014

New year. New blog.

It's a new year. 2014 is here.

Dear blog, you have served me well for all this time!

But it is indeed time to start anew.

I hope you all will follow me over at the new and improved, A Note from the Author.

This will be a new journey of writing and reflections.

See you next door.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Life is hectic and my focus was not on Him.

I sat in church, praying, "Lord, let me hear you. Let me see you."

I stood on stage singing at the Christmas musical about His birth and the joy this time of year brings, praying, "God, give me joy."

I stood beside my mom, discouraged after a day full of what seemed to be hopelessness. The words tumbled out of my mouth as if I didn't care, "I've given up all hope of having a normal Christmas this year. I'm just done." I shook my head and turned around, ready for a new day.

As I sat on my bed, doing my quiet time, I tried to hear His voice. I tried to see why all of this was going on. I prayed, I begged, "God, give me Your hope, Your peace. I need you."

It hit me. All at once it hit me. I could hear Him.

"My child, don't you see? I've been whispering my hope to you all day long! You just weren't listening. You were too busy seeking comfort in other things that you simply didn't hear my voice all day. I am hope. I am peace. I am joy. I am with you, my hope is with you. I am for you."

That morning in church, the sermon was about seeking the ONLY hope at this time of year. The hope in Jesus Christ.

"For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." Romans 8:24-25

I stood on stage, singing about JOY and HOPE in Christ because of what He had done.

Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

I received encouraging words and texts from friends, checking up on us and seeing if we needed anything.

"We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf..." Hebrews 6:19-20

I sat on my bed and read verses that ALL had to do with hope. I was too busy looking to stop and listen. 

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13

My eyes were opened and there He was, whispering hope all day long.

And He's always there, always whispering hope into our darkest days, wanting us to stop and listen.

Because this hope He whispers is the greatest comfort.

So stop and listen.

Listen for His voice, whispering in the dark, "You are mine."


Friday, November 22, 2013

127 Million.

Normally, Friday morning is my designated writing time. From 8:30-10:30 I make myself sit down and write, no matter how much school work I have ahead of me.

It refreshes me. And I love it.

Except for mornings like this morning.

There are days when the words just don't come, and the creativity is wiped right out of your head.

It's frustrating.

Anyway- I figured I would use this time to sit down and write to you all about something that's been pressing on my heart all month.

Actually, it's something this month is designated for.

November is orphan awareness month.

And boy, do I have a lot to say about that.

I can't believe I'm about to do this. But, I'm about to give you an exert from my book. This is one of my favorite scenes from the whole book.

So, here you are. In this scene, Chrissy, the main character, is asked to help introduce three babies that are being adopted to their parents. As you might be able to tell, this was taken from when we met Sonia the first time in Rwanda.

     "I handed her to her father, she looked confused, but her parents were elated. Her mother’s eyes were brimming with tears, watching her husband holding his daughter for the first time. As it had many times already, my heart broke for the children who didn’t have families, who weren’t going to be loved like little Sonia was. I then thought back to Ava, she would one day have a family, who would love her with all of their hearts. Her mother’s eyes would be full of tears, seeing her for the first time, and her father would hold her with comforting arms. She wouldn’t know then that this would be the family to care for her and to love her as long as she lived, but she would someday. She wouldn’t know that I had fallen in love with her and would have given anything to make her mine. Even if she never remembered me, even if I couldn’t be there forever to love and care for her, I could love on her while I was there, knowing that one day, she would have a family too. 

     Once they had spent about forty-five minutes with the kids, we had to take the children back to their rooms. The fathers held each of their children in their arms. We led them to their rooms and they placed each of their children back in a bed, where they would sleep for one of their last nights there. The children once again had a look of confusion on their faces, wondering why in the world they had to leave these people. Sonia’s father kissed her on the forehead and walked out. Once they had all left and the door was shut, all of their eyes filled with tears as their fathers walked away but I scooped them up and held them close."

Ava is a little girl who doesn't have a family. In this book she represents all of the orphans around the world- all 127 MILLION of them. 

These children long to be loved- they long to know the love of a family. Not just children in different countries- but right here in America. 

I have been so burdened lately after being in Uganda and seeing all of the orphans again. My thoughts this time have been mainly, "What if they don't ever know the love of the Father? The love of Jesus Christ?"

And it breaks my heart. 

It breaks my heart to think that there are going to be children who will never know the love that Christ has shown us. He is Father to the Fatherless- what if they NEVER hear that?

May we not just sit still and think, "What cute children!" 

May we be called into ACTION by the words of James 1:27, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."

God- wake us up. Move us to action so that these 127 million children can know your love and know the love of a family. 

He has called us to so much more than sitting still. 

He has called us to GO. To LOVE. To be His hands and feet. 

So that every. single. child. on this planet may know the love of the Best Father this world will EVER know. 


Monday, November 18, 2013

Let the fundraising begin!!!

I am VERY thrilled to announce that I have officially begun fundraising for my book!

This is a huge step in the direction towards being a published author.

"Where might I find this fundraising?" You may ask?

Here: "For I Know the Plans" Fundraising!

I would be honored if you would check out this page!

Please help us spread the word on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by including the link above(

I'm trusting in Him to fulfill these needs and I know He will be faithful to complete what I've begun in Him!

Thank you so very much for reading!


Sunday, November 3, 2013

For the Love of Music

Seriously- Emily Grace and I have the BEST memories together.

Let's take a moment to remember the Taylor Swift Concert in 2011.

Uganda this summer. 

Camp together this summer.

And then...Yesterday.

Emily Grace's birthday was in October and for her birthday...we went to the Hunter Hayes concert nearby. 

It was absolutely incredible. Honestly, I'm surprised I can still talk today.

We screamed and sang the entire time.

AND our seats were SO close up to the stage! As Emily said, "We could see the sweat on his forehead and everything!"

All dressed up and ready to go!

Waiting for merchandise, we got a picture just like this at the Taylor Swift concert. We've changed SO much since then!!

Before the concert.

We were just a TAD excited.

Me during the concert.


After the concert. Our hearts were still racing!

During the concert. (We took a few selfies!) 

On the way to Mellow Mushroom for dinner.

Overall, it was an absolutely amazing night that we will never, ever, forget. 

There were so many laughs shared...and I'm so glad I got to share this night with my best friend.

God is so good to give us such great times in the middle of crazy weeks! 

I love you Emily Grace, happy late birthday!!

And Hunter Hayes- you're beautiful. Just sayin'.


P.S. And thanks to my mom and Emily's mom for taking us. Thanks for dealing with our squealing and talking all the way home last night!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Don't you forget it.

Music plays through my head.

And the words just flow.

Beautifully and perfectly onto the page.

I stand on stage, hands wide, crying, Lord, I need you, oh, I need you. 

How true that always is.

This week in particular.

I look back on Monday.

We all stood on the porch, collapsing into tears- each and every one of us.

My heart broke in half as I watched a grown man, who has become like my older brother, cry. He hugged William and Jonathan. And I could hardly bare it.

I remember the dance parties.

And the movie nights. The time we watched Lion King 1 1/2 and ate Blow Pops.

The homework chair. The long afternoons at the pool.

"You're going to be one of my bridesmaids, aren't you?"

"Will you make the baby's scrapbook?"

"Harper's going to be a big sister!"

I kissed her sweet forehead, memorizing her sweet features, her laughs and giggles.

I hugged her tightly, not wanting to let go. Not wanting her to leave.

"I love you."

She wiped the tears from her cheeks. That was only the third time I had ever seen her cry.

My vision was blurred with tears as I tried to hold it together, tried to be strong.

We walked off, they got in their car, and drove. And drove. And drove.

On Monday, Amanda, Nick, Harper and baby girl on-the-way left for California.

I dreaded the day we'd have to say goodbye.

But it came and went.

And I can now look back and think, He was faithful once again. 

This week I have written.

I have prayed.

I have stayed close to my Jesus.

And He has proven himself so faithful to me.

I'm going to miss them more than I can say.

But, I can't wait to visit California to see my favorite almost one year old, her mom and dad, and her sweet baby sister.

Once again this week- He has been faithful to remind me of His promises. I don't think He will ever let me forget that He will always be faithful. No matter what.

Amanda, Nick, Harper, and little miss Mckinley(I love having a name for you, sweet baby), I love you guys. And though I'd rather you be here, I know God wants you there. So go ahead and find some awesome things for us to do when we come visit next summer. Thanks for everything from the dance parties to letting me help with wedding planning and everything in between. Be safe. And Harper- don't you ever forget I was your favorite in our family from the very beginning!

Love, Bailey Elizabeth

Friday, October 18, 2013

Life as a writer.

Life as a writer is....






Learning to balance.

And this week I figured out my favorite part.

My favorite thing about writing is this-

When my reality stinks and I'm tired of living in this world, I can turn my mind into the reality of my writing. I can turn my mind around and live in the world of Chrissy and Carter. The world that is right now taking place in Uganda with chocolate babies and fictional characters that are more than real to me.

As a writer- my mind is constantly in two worlds, two different realities. And however odd this sounds, it's really happening.

I'll be sitting at the kitchen table, doing math, and all of the sudden I can see a scene happening in my head, as if it's happening right before my eyes. I can hear the conversation, feel people's emotions.

And I find it beautiful.

On horrible days, I go to Chrissy's world, shaping characters, figuring out plot points, seeing the beauty in her life.

Then I think, doesn't God feel the same way? He's already shaped my story- and it's grander than anything I could ever come up with on my own.

Through writing, somehow I can get a glimpse of how the Grand Author has already shaped my life, my character, my story.

It makes me SO thankful that I'm not in control of my life. Because even on the bad days, or hard weeks, I know it will get better.

I'm thankful today for being an author. For this gift He has given me and the two realities I can find myself in.

Though some days it's frustrating...because I'll be somewhere and feel this wave of creativity move in, and I can't's also so beautiful.

And I love it.

I also can't wait for the day when you get to read book #1, which is now completed.

I'm just praying about what to do next.

And I have no doubt that because He's in control of it all, it will be beautiful.